North Point Camp

Heroes Remember

They left us there for about a week and then they came in and said we’d have to march to this awful place there in Hong Kong, North Point. It was designed for refugees, they weren’t brick buildings which they usually had. The frame was the usual frame we’d have on the building here but it just had clap boards on the outside, hotter than the dickens, you know. I never saw such a filthy hole. It had the horse lines in there. We had to go in there. We didn’t have nothing and we had to clean all that filth up, overrun with rats. It’s a nightmare that place was. Well the basic diet was rice, of very poor quality, a lot of dirt in it. You could see where the bags probably burst open, they would sweep it up and everything else would go in with it, that’s what would happen. The place, rats would open up the bags, you know. I assumed it was rats, there were plenty of them. Well what they would call vegetables, they don't grow vegetables like they used to like we do in the temperate climates, you know. They were leaf vegetables, belongs to the cabbage family, lettuce and stuff but we couldn’t, ,didn’t dare to use them, eat it raw because you would get all sorts of parasites so we had to put it through boiling water and cook them and that’s less, but for health reasons, of course that’s less appetizing. Fancy eating cooked lettuce and it wasn’t as good quality of lettuce like as we have here. The best vegetable we would get once in a while is what they called yams.

Mr. Hurd describes North Point as a filthy nightmare. The diet consisted of rice contaminated with rat feces, and boiled lettuce-like greens. Yams were an occasional treat.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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