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Hong Kong was not a Reign of Terror.

Heroes Remember

Hong Kong was not a Reign of Terror.

There is a myth that people were being beat up every day, all day, 365 days of the year, that's not true. That's not true, now I am talking about Hong Kong, I was never in Japan. That's not true. There were some very bad cases, obviously there was that despicable thing of executing four people and there was some very bad beatings. There were some very bad instances of being made to stand on parade for a day or a day and a half because of some transgression and roll calls at very inopportune times, people couldn't go to the bathroom or anything like that and a lot of people were quite sick. And, of course, they were completely neglectful as far as allowing water and medicines to come in. They refused to let the Red Cross feed us which the Red Cross offered to do. Parcels were sent in and were not distributed or if distributed at all, distributed a year late. They were terrible about rations. They were terrible about mail so all those things are correct in spades. But in actual fact, it would be wrong to leave the impression that there was a reign of terror night and day for three years and eight months. In fact, there was a certain amount of trading going on with the guards, most of whom were not Japanese at all, they were Taiwanese. We saw very few Japanese - the NCO, the officer, the commandant of all of them but there were very few Japanese around.

Mr. Golden contradicts the opinion of many POW's that there was a reign of terror in North Point and Sham Shui Po camps. He does, however, reiterate the claims of filth, disease, malnutrition and neglect.

David Golden

The third of four children, David Sinclair was born on February 22, 1920 in Sinclair, Manitoba. His father, an insurance salesman, moved the family to Vancouver, returning to Winnipeg when Mr. Golden was ten years old. In his third year at the University of Manitoba, he joined the Canadian Officer Training Corps. Mr. Golden missed his University graduation due to a May, 1941 call up by the Winnipeg Grenadiers. As a 2nd Lieutenant he served with the Grenadiers in Jamaica. After returning to Canada he was assigned as an intelligence officer to the Royal Rifles, with whom he went to Hong Kong. Mr. Golden was imprisoned in Hong Kong for the entire war. After returning to Canada, he practiced law.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 30, 1998
Person Interviewed:
David Golden
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Intelligence officer

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