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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Herbert Leslie Lawrence

In memory of:

Rifleman Herbert Leslie Lawrence

January 29, 1943

Sham Shui Po Hospital camp, Hong Kong

Military Service


Service Number:

E/30257

Age:

26

Force:

Army

Unit:

Royal Rifles of Canada, R.C.I.C.

Citation(s):

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

Additional Information


Born:

November 20, 1916
Port Daniel, Québec

Enlistment:

August 18, 1940
New Carlisle, Québec

Son of Edwin Edgar Lawrence and Ida Elisabeth McDonald, of Port Daniel, Québec.

Another son served overseas during the Second World War, Gunner Walter Lawrence, service number E-0098; he survived the war.

Wounded in action on 23 December 1941, transported to the Queen Mary Hospital and captured on 25 December 1941, Detention number 6664, transferred to Sham Shui Po Hospital on 25 January 1943, he died there of cardiac beriberi.

Commemorated on Page 180 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

SAI WAN MEMORIAL
Victoria, Hong Kong

Grave Reference:

Column 25.

Location:

This SAI WAN MEMORIAL honours over 2000 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 Saiwan War Cemetery.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Photo of HERBERT LESLIE LAWRENCE– In memory of those who served in Hong Kong during World War 11 and did not come home. Submitted with permission on behalf of the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association by Operation: Picture Me.
  • Document
  • Letter
  • Canada and the Defence of Hong Kong.– Source: Veterans Affairs Canada
  • Canada and the Defence of Hong Kong.– Source: Veterans Affairs Canada
  • Inscription– Dedicatory inscription of the SAI WAN MEMORIAL.  This memorial  bears the names of more than 2,000 Commonwealth servicemen, including 228 Canadians.
  • Memorial– Rifleman HERBERT LESLIE LAWRENCE is one of  30 members of the Royal Rifles of Canada, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps who are commemorated on this panel of the Sai Wan Memorial.  He was among the 1689 Canadian soldiers taken Prisoners of War after the surrender of Hong Kong on December 25th, 1941, and is one of 267 of these soldiers who died while a POW.  According to information compiled by Vincent Lopata and posted at the Hong Kong Veteran¿s Commorative Association website, Rifleman LAWRENCE died as a result of beriberi.  http://www.cforce.hkvca.ca/battledeaths.htm

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