Shooting Myself in the Mirror

Heroes Remember

Shooting Myself in the Mirror

When we were fighting, there were snipers, we were in the bomb hole. And this sniper, must have been way up high because he sniped and killed three guys on the one side of that hole so we were all crawling to the other. I was saying we gotta get away because somebody's up real high there to see down this hole, there's no way you can see with the way the ground was going and everything. There's no way you can look in that hole. That's the only way, up in some place. Anyway, there was this one big building over there. So the officer says, "You think you and Carl could get out and go around there, you know. I said, "I don't know,but we'll try it." So Carl says, "There's a ditch over there." And so we went over the hill. I got up on it, he just gave me a, put his hands on my rear end and then whoof!! He just threw me to give me a good start eh! Christ and then he come right behind and we ran until we jumped in that hole. That thing was deep, 15 feet or more and mud. Jesus and so then, but it was going up as it went that way and we were running in that damn thing. There was a hospital there, and there was two or three guys sitting out. And we had come out of the ditch and we were just laying there and so I hollered to the guys over at the hospital. I said, "Open that door!" We wanted to go through that building to get on the other side. And oh jeez, you should've saw us. We were just mud, you know, and I hollered, "Open that door because we're coming through," you know. And we jumped and hit that floor, it was marble floor, and I slid, jeez you should've saw that place. Oh God, you know, and they cleaned it up just like that and it was gone. And we shot down there and all this happened in just the time it took us to get from one door out the other one, went straight through that hallway and out. Anyway, we made it through there and then we got to this building, went into the building and we checked it on the outside and then we went into the building. And then Carl, he stood in the doorway and I said, "I'll go down the basement and check the basement because we didn't want whoever to get out eh. There was only one way in there. So we went, I went down the basement, got in there, went around couldn't find a damn thing. Then we went to next floor to check it and check it and the guys used to raz me about this because we come to the last room and I said to Carl, "It's gotta be here, this room is facing the right way, he's gotta be in here," because we couldn't find him any place so I said to Carl, "You lay on the floor right there, and I'll kick the door open." And I went to the other side and I booted the doors open. And I had a Tommy gun. And I, but I didn't have many shells, you know, and I shot. There was a big mirror all down the wall and I shot the damn mirror, there was glass flying all over the place. So anyway, I threw the gun away, it was no good to me no more. I had no shells. But I got him, but it was me, I shot myself in the mirror, you know, and vroom!!! Now I got myself, you know. So every time something used to happen to me at the camp I'd come in and, "Well, it's not half as bad as the time you shot yourself, you know."

In pursuit of a sniper, Mr. Bembridge shares his story of shooting his own image through a wall sized mirror, believing he had captured the enemy.

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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