Giving Bombs for a Promise

Heroes Remember

Giving Bombs for a Promise

Interviewer: Were you involved in the fighting on Mt. Nicholson? Yeah Interviewer: What do you remember about that? I don't know, I remember we didn't have enough stuff and this Carl Johnson, he was with me, he's dead now but him and I worked together on a trench mortar. And we were using bombs but we couldn't get bombs, you know. And jeez that's a hell of a feeling, when you got nothing to fight with, eh? There was a kid, I wanted to bring him home with me, I said I'd raise him and take him home. He was bringing bombs up to us. We couldn't get down to get 'em and he was bringing them up the mountain, you know, but he could only bring like three or six at a time he would bring up, you know. And... Interviewer: Was that a Chinese?... Ya, Chinese boy he was, he was about, I don't know 11 years old maybe, 9 or 11 years old, I don't know which. And we couldn't understand him very good, you know. And he always wanted to be with us because he had been cleaning our room and everything for us when we were on our backs and he wanted to come with us. He said, he learned a few words and he said, "Me go Canada! I come you Canada." He says like that, you know. I said, "Okay, if we live through the war, you know, you come with me to Canada." Well, he turned up at the boat. When we were going to go. "Me go Canada oh yoi, yoi!!" And Doc, they wouldn't take him. He said, "You can't take him." And I felt kind of bad about that because I had promised him, you know, that I'd take him with me and I'd look after him, you know.

With very little fighting power at Mount Nicholson, Mr. Bembridge is supplied with bombs from a young Chinese boy.

Howard Bembridge

Mr. Bembridge was born May 22, 1923 in Saskatchewan. His father was a sergeant major in the First World War and rarely spoke about his service. Being the third oldest child of four, Mr. Bembridge achieved a grade 8 education and at age 14, went to work with the Canadian National Railway. At age 17, he decided to join the military and enlisted with the South Saskatchewan Regiment and moved to Fort William, Ontario for six months. Having a rocky relationship with his sergeant, Mr. Bembridge made a quick decision to join the Winnipeg Grenadiers who were destined for Hong Kong. Having experienced harsh and brutal conditions during his captivity, Mr. Bembridge was hospitalized for a period of time and later returned to Saskatchewan with his family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
August 24, 1998
Person Interviewed:
Howard Bembridge
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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