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Battle of Hong Kong Details

Heroes Remember

Battle of Hong Kong Details

The colonel said we could leave and go up in the hills and we crossed and we blew the bridge that they couldn't cross and went up. Went up in the hills and we was there about 18 days, we never slept or nothing, we couldn't get nothing to eat. The colonel had given me a place, placed me up in the mountain and there was a fellow there, an officer and he didn't like me and I didn't like him. And he was firing at our fellows and they were hollering , "Hold your fire!" And I was standing over him and I cocked my rifle and I put in ten bullets, and I said, "Look, hold your fire or I'm blowing your brains out!" And oh he got mad, he said, "If you don't get killed myself, I'll kill you." And you know there was three of us and the colonel said, "You done wrong, you should have shot him!" For he said he was threatening three lives. We was right out on the point then and I was digging trenches when the truck came up with the flag on. And it wasn't us that surrendered, it was the town and it wasn't our town so we had to quit. One of our officers said we'll have to surrender, I said, "No, go to the last man." And him, he was scared. They surrendered so we had to stop. Interviewer: What do you remember was your reaction when you realized that you were going to be surrendering to the Japanese? Well, we didn't like it very well but we had nothing to fight with, it was only rifles and the big gun up on the hill, she run out of bullets. So it was left, they lost thirty some thousand with us and there was only two thousand Canadians. When we come to dig graves, we said, "Will we dig a grave for the Canadians or the Japs?" "Throw them all in," he said, "the fellow up there will sort them all out!" The colonel...

Mr. Devouge describes demolishing a bridge to slow the Japanese advance, threatening to shoot one of his officers who was firing on his own men, and eventually surrendering and burying the dead.

Cecil Devouge

Cecil Devouge, the eldest of eight children, was born in Belle Anse, Quebec in 1913. As the eldest in the family, he was required to work with his father cutting pulp to support his family, and thus never attended school. After working on his own for as little as a dollar a day, he enlisted in July, 1940 in Gaspe at the request of a recruiter for the Royal Rifles. One month later he was married. Before going overseas to Hong Kong, Mr. Devouge spent time in several maritime military bases; St. John and Sussex, New Brunswick, and St. John's, Newfoundland. After the Hong Kong garrison surrendered, he became a POW, eventually being sent to Japan to work as slave labour in the Niigata foundry. After the war, Mr. Devouge returned to his home in Gaspe.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
August 24, 1998
Person Interviewed:
Cecil Devouge
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada

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