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Ship conditions

Heroes Remember

We went to Vancouver and they took us right to the boat and it was a New Zealand boat, the Awatea. When we went on the boat there was one big room on the boat. We ate, slept, they had hammocks all set up over the tables, that's where we slept in one big room. We all got off the boat and said we wanted them to change that because somebody's going to be sick and we're going to be eating and somebody is going to be laying there with sea sickness and they're going to be laying in the hammock and getting sea sick and we're eating down below them and we said that's wrong, that's wrong to have a place like that. We should be sleeping in separate, in separate places. So then they said they would, they told us that they would change everything. They would fix it so that it was different. So they got us back on the boat, then they took the boat out and put the, tethered it out from the dock so that we couldn't get off the boat and then they never did change it. They left it the way it was because they didn't have another boat to take us or move us anywhere so they just left it the way it was.

Mr. Durant talks about the conditions on the Awatea, the ship that took them to Hong Kong.

Gordon Durant

Gordon Durant was born on December 20thth 1921. Things were busy for him and his 7 sisters and 4 brothers growing up on the farm in Saskatchewan. His father lived most of his civilian life with a disabling injury from the First World War. Mr. Durant left school after grade eight to help out around the farm before joining the army at age 17. After completing basic training, he was sent to Jamaica for garrison duty and then to Hong Kong where he was captured by the Japanese. He spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of war in Hong Kong and Japan where he worked in the mines and on the railroad.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Gordon Durant
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War

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