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Dietary Supplements

Heroes Remember

Oh I weighed when I went in 160, when I come out I weighed 101 pounds. We was getting what you'd put in a tea cup a day - each meal, three meals, three cups a day. And you had no tea, you had no salt, you had nothing and that was boiled dry. Interviewer: This was rice that you are talking about? Yes, and that's all we had. When we had no rice, they had barley. It was no good. And the women used to haul coal and they'd bring me beans and all that and hide it. They'd say, "Take care the Japs don't catch you, they'll slap your face." And they brought me something everyday, I used to unload their loads for them. That helped me. Then I got hauling lumber, an old fellow, a Jap, and he had an old ox there. "Get on!" he says, and we'd sit on and we'd go, make a load and every morning he brought me a big apple, he was a farmer. That was a big help and he was a nice old fellow. And when I left I give him a pile of cigarettes.

Mr. Devouge discusses his inadequate rations, and goes on to describe two situations where Japanese civilians risked giving him food.

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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