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Combat Experiences

Heroes Remember

I remember waking up in the morning and there was only me and Jack Mackay we were on the mainland and the planes were going over and I can always remember Jack Mackay saying to me, “The British are flying around practicing up there.” And when the bombs started dropping I said, “By jeez, there is no British up there playing around. There’s gotta be somebody, war must be broke out or something because they are dropping bombs.” So we bailed, got the hell out of there and we got into a drain, a water drain and got down into that. Good job we did because they blew our camp all to hell. So after we got out of there we made our way across on the other side and got back with our regiment. I got back with the Royal Rifles in the hills, and that’s when I took sick and that’s when they moved me out to the hospital because I was running a heavy fever and all that. So I asked to be discharged. I wanted to get the hell out of that hospital and get back to my regiment. So what they did, they gave me a rifle, a bandolier with ammunition there and I strapped that all around me with a lot of grenades in my pocket and I started out at night and, you know, the nurses and that they cried. They figured I was never gonna make it cause I was alone and pitch dark at night. Then when I started out, I said goodbye to them all and I started down the road and as I was walking down the road by myself I was scared and then I hear a lot of, you know, walking on the road and that and I’d get on the side of the road and get in the ditch and the Japanese would be going right by me, I could almost touch them, and I finally ended up with the Winnipeg Grenadiers then and I ended up in the hills fighting with them, but I didn’t fight that long because the war didn’t last that long.

Mr. Lecouffe describes the initial bombing of Sham Shui Po barracks by the Japanese. After being evacuated to Hong Kong, he is hospitalized. On his release, he is re-armed and makes his way through the enemy up to the combat zone, where he joins the Winnipeg Grenadiers.

Lionel Lecouffe

Lionel Lecouffe was born in Campbellton, New Brunswick on March 23, 1922. His father was a First World War veteran and his mother a war bride. Mr. Lecouffe worked on the road for food vouchers before becoming a deliveryman to Easton Bakery at $2 a day. Only seventeen and already a member of the Campbellton militia, he lied about his age to enlist with the Royal Rifles at Matapedia. Ironically, after his release from a Hong Kong hospitalization, Mr. Lecouffe found himself attached to the Winnipeg Grenadiers with whom he finished the war.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
October 10, 2000
Person Interviewed:
Lionel Lecouffe
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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