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Our Vehicles Never Arrived

Heroes Remember

Our Vehicles Never Arrived

The sad part about that, our vehicles never arrived in Hong Kong. The war came along and they sent them on a slow ship. It got into Manila and they couldn’t get to Hong Kong. The war had started and the Americans used them, I guess. I think they got permission to use them, I guess they needed them badly too. But there was room, on the Awatea. it was a troop ship, there was room in the hold where they could have put in some more vehicles, I’m sure they could because I know the space, I knew what was in the hold. And I know that our Brigadier Lawson (sp) was very annoyed that they didn’t put some vehicles aboard, even if we’d had half a dozen of our own vehicles. We ended up in Hong Kong just commandeering vehicles off the street. I don’t know if they ever got paid for them or not, we just took them, had to. They weren’t big enough to give the boys a lift when they were marching, you couldn’t move troops with them, all we could as far as I see, all they were suitable for was to carry rations and ammunition in. We couldn’t take, move a company quickly with them, if we would of had our vehicles and our Bren gun carriers we could have made it tougher for the Japs, much tougher.

Mr. Hurd discusses the failure of the Canadian army's heavy trucks and equipment to arrive in Hong Kong. He makes the point that the troop ship had plenty of room in her hold to carry several Bren gun carriers, which Mr. Hurd feels would have greatly aided the defense of Hong Kong.

Lionel Hurd

Lionel Hurd was born on February 3, 1907 in Maple Leaf, P.Q. He was the eldest of three sons. After finishing school he went to work in a lumber yard, and then out to the gold mines in Kirkland Lake. In 1936 he became a surveyor. Despite being married with two children, Mr. Hurd enlisted in 1940, serving as a Captain at an internment camp near Quebec City. He then took a demotion to Lieutenant in order to join the Royal Rifles. Mr. Hurd was soon a Captain acting as regimental quartermaster. After the fall of Hong Kong, he was fortunate to be imprisoned with the other officers, thus avoiding much of the misery experienced by the non-commissioned ranks.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
February 2, 2005
Person Interviewed:
Lionel Hurd
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada

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