Circle of Surrender

Heroes Remember

Interviewer: How were you taken into custody? How were you taken into captivity? Well they, it was at night, it was just about night and they put us all in a circle, I don't know how many men there was there, there was lots of us there. And the Japanese were all around us, sitting there, and mean, jeez, and they jumped up and grabbed a bayonet and take a stab at ya, you know. And I was right, right next to the chum there and they were taking these cans of peaches and taking the bayonet and cutting them up in four pieces, flatten them up and they'd just pour them in and they were drinking sacki and pouring these damn peaches down and they'd eat two or three and the rest would fall, you know. We hadn't had nothing to eat, nothing for a day and a half. They stood us there all night. And then one come, he went kind of half nuts or something from this sacki and crap He jumped up and he tried to bayonet and he stuck this one guy with a bayonet. So I went right over top the other guys, you know. I jumped up and said, "Brace yourself!" And I stepped on their shoulders and I dropped myself in farther, I figured he got to kill a whole bunch of them before he gets to me now, you know. You know, I don't know why but, you know, maybe a guy should have just fell to the ground, I don't know.

Mr. Bembridge describes his reaction to the treatment while being gathered up by the Japanese guards and fearing for his life.

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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