Barely Recognizable

Heroes Remember

Interviewer: What was it like to see Canadian sailors? There was one man on that boat that was there when we went over and that guy, him and I were talking when we went over there. This guy came in and he asked for me and I was sitting right there. He says, "Where's this guy Bembridge, did he die?" I said, "No, he never died!" He looked at me and he started crying. When he found out I was him, he started bawling and he really cried, you know. I was only half crying there but he really got going. He said, "Man you guys, what in the hell did they put you through?" He says to me like that, you know, he says, "When you guys come over here you were in damn good shape, you know, well built guys and muscled up and everything." I had muscles like this in my gut and he didn't even know who I was. He said, " Hell man!"

On board the Prince Robert, a sailor weeps at the sight of Mr. Bembridge’s conditions, remembering him as a healthy soldier.

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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