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Working in the mines

Heroes Remember

Working in the mines

When we went to Japan I was out shoveling, we were shoveling ore off of a car. They were loading these big freight cars with stuff they were taking this nickel out of. All of a sudden while I was shoveling I just started getting dizzy and then I fell. I didn't even know that I had passed out and I fell down in this here chute and when I fell down, they had bars, big bars across this different ways so the building wouldn't collapse when they put all this ore in. So the guy said, “I figured you were dead because,” he said, “when you went down there you hit on your back,” and he said, “your head touched your feet.” He said, “You bent right around backwards,” he said and then he said, “you fell off of this bar and you fell down in the bottom of a pit.” He said, “I figured you were finished.” So they said they went down, he said they went down and they picked me up and put me on a stretcher and they had a door in the side that they could get in to the building and they took me out that way and laid me on this stretcher. When I come to, I woke up and I had wondered what had happened. I was still covered with dirt and that all over me. So they took me in to the camp and carried me on this and put two sticks on a rice sack and made a stretcher out of it and put two rice sacks in, one on each end of the stick and laid me on it and carried me into the camp. When they got me into camp they took me to this place in, that we, was supposed to be the hospital but it wasn't really a, it was just run by sergeants, that's all. There was no doctor there or that, so they laid me on this board and they put a bag, a sandbag on my feet so I couldn't move and then sandbags on the side of me so that I laid there just on my back all the time like that. I was there for about, oh, it must have been four months or more.

Weak from working in Japan, Mr. Durant passed out and fell into a pit.

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.

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

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