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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

William Orville Grantham

In memory of:

Private William Orville Grantham

December 20, 1941
Hong Kong

Military Service


Service Number:

H/77354

Age:

19

Force:

Army

Unit:

Winnipeg Grenadiers, R.C.I.C.

Citation(s):

1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal 1939-1945, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp.

Additional Information


Born:

April 13, 1922
Pine Creek, Manitoba

Enlistment:

June 18, 1941
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Son of George Albert Grantham and Edith Elizabeth Sylvester of Sidney, Manitoba. Brother of Private Edward George Grantham, regimental number H-6657, Winnipeg Grenadiers, prisoner of war in Hong Kong and Japan. He survived the war.

He served in Manitoba, Hong Kong with C Force. He had 183 days of service, including 54 overseas.

To commemorate his sacrifice, the Manitoba government named Grantham Lake located southeast of Tadoule Lake in his honor in 1974.

Commemorated on Page 31 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

SAI WAN MEMORIAL
Victoria, Hong Kong

Grave Reference:

Column 26.

Location:

This SAI WAN MEMORIAL honours over 2,000 men of the land forces of the British Commonwealth and Empire who died in the defence of Hong Kong during the Second World War. The SAI WAN MEMORIAL is in the form of a shelter building 24 metres long and 5.5 metres wide. It stands at the entrance to Sai Wan Bay War Cemetery, outside Victoria, the capital of Hong Kong. From the semi-circular forecourt, two wide openings lead to the interior of the building. The names are inscribed on panels of Portland stone. The dedicatory inscription reads:


1939 - 1945 The officers and men whose memory is honoured here died in the defence of Hong Kong in December 1941 and in the ensuing years of captivity and have no known grave.

The northern side of the Memorial is open and four granite piers support the copper roof. From a commanding position 305 metres above sea level, it looks out over the War Cemetery where some 1,500 men lie buried, and across the water to Mainland China - a magnificent view of sea and mountains. The Cape Collinson area has many cemeteries. Walking up this narrow one-way traffic road, one will pass the Catholic Cemetery situated on the hillside to the left of the road, and the Hong Kong Military Cemetery on the right. Sai Wan War Cemetery is about half way up Cape Collinson Road and faces the Muslim and Buddhist cemeteries. One can also get a taxi from Chai Wan Terminus and follow the same route. Alternatively, one can board a public light bus, Route No.16M, which runs from Chai Wan MTR Terminus to Stanley. En route to Stanley the minibus will pass Sai Wan War Cemetery.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

  • Memorial– Private WILLIAM ORVILLE GRANTHAM is one of 20 members of the Winnipeg Grenadiers, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps who are commemorated on this panel of the Sai Wan Memorial.  He was one of 290 Canadian soldiers killed during the defense of Hong Kong, from December 8th to December 25th, 1941.
  • Newspaper Clipping– Private WILLIAM ORVILLE GRANTHAM was reported to be Missing in Action in the Canadian Army¿s 244th overseas casualty list of the war published in the Globe and Mail on January 9, 1943.
  • Dedicatory Inscription of the Sai Wan Memorial– Dedicatory inscription of the SAI WAN MEMORIAL.  This memorial  bears the names of more than 2,000 Commonwealth servicemen, including 228 Canadians.
  • Canada and the Defence of Hong Kong– Source: Veterans Affairs Canada.
  • Canadian Casuatlies in the Defence of Hong Kong– Source: Veterans Affairs Canada.
  • Unknown Marker– The Sai Wan Memorial is located at the entrance of Sai Wan Cemetery.  1,505 Commonwealth casualties of the Second World War are buried or commemorated at this  cemetery, of which 444 of the burials are the remains of unidentified soldiers, including those of 107 Canadian soldiers, most of whom were killed or died of wounds during the defense of Hong Kong, which took place from December 8th to December 25th, 1941. This is one such grave marker.  There is a possibility that the remains of Private WILLIAM ORVILLE GRANTHAM lie beneath this grave marker, or one of the other 106 grave markers in Sai Wan Cemetery that simply read, A SOLDIER OF THE 1939-1945 WAR.  A  CANADIAN REGIMENT.  KNOWN UNTO GOD.  The unidentified soldiers are commemorated at the Sai Wan Memorial.

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