A Miserable Place

Heroes Remember

Interviewer: The next day after that first night, did they then take you to a prison camp? Then ya, then they took us to North Point. I can't remember how long we were there. We weren't there that awful long. And they were putting a wire up I guess at the camp, the other camp. Interviewer: Sham Shui Po? Sham Shui Po, yeah. Interviewer: What were the toilet facilities at North Point, do you remember them? Ya, they had just a board stuck out in the air, and we would go out there and crap wherever ya, wind blowing, blow you off from there. Interviewer: This board was out on the sea wall? Ya, just walk out and no sea wall, just dug in and stuck out there. Like a diving board. You'd go out there and boy when the wind was blowing, but... Interviewer: What do you remember about the food that you men got when you were at North Point? I remember that we didn't get enough. We got rice but if we would have had twice as much we would of still been thin, you know. I mean, you're hungry all the time. I was hungry all the time. And I was only 18 years old and Christ when you're 18 years old you'd eat a good size plate if you're active and doing things. I'd be getting there and getting a little bit of rice pushed in a cup. When it's cooked you could just push it into a cup about half a cup. If they had given it to us dry, weighed it dry and then give it to us, we would have got a little more, you know. I know that when sometimes they would give us some rice that wasn't polished, had a brand on it and that, even that little bit, you know, felt better when you ate it. You felt like you had something to eat, you know. We couldn't even sleep, you had to pull up your knees right up underneath your chest and huddle up tight. Interviewer: Why is that? So you could keep your guts from rolling around and pain and hurting because you were so damn hungry and you're losing weight like crazy. Interviewer: What do you remember about the bed bugs and lice? They use to rain from the ceiling you know and stink. The damn things would bite ya and you'd kill them, you know, and then pop them, phew!! They were rotten things.

Mr. Bembridge describes the harsh and brutal conditions of North Point Camp facing starvation and brutality as a prisoner of war.

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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