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Suddenly the Stone Moved

Heroes Remember

Suddenly the Stone Moved

My runner, actually, was a man from Kenora. He was great. Anyway, one day he called me over and he said, “Sarge, see that stone out there, down there?” I said, “Yeah.” He says, “It wasn’t there yesterday.” I said, “How can a stone that size move?” He said, “Take a shot at it.” So he took a shot, nothing happened. “Take another shot.” The second shot, suddenly the stone moved alright. Suddenly a leg shot out of there and it was the Japanese sniper, but this sniper was a different kind. He didn’t carry a pistol, carried a little bag about that size. He carried about that much of rice as well. He could stay away from his base at least three weeks. But he had this bag of little, the Japanese grenade didn’t weigh one pound, they weighed half a pound. You could throw it the baseball way, but ours, we had to lob it. You know, you could break your arm if you, and when we inspected, he was dead. I reported my company commander. My company commander said, “You’re going to have us all tortured.” by my actions. But anyway, it was much better, because at night with these grenades, he’d come around and he’d throw them even though sometimes he probably didn’t know where we were. But a grenade can demoralize a good position right out of sight.

Mr. Bérard describes killing a Japanese sniper, and discusses the type of grenades that the enemy used.

Léo Paul Bérard

Léo Paul Bérard was born in Ste Anne des Chenes, Manitoba, in 1915. He was one of only four of the family’s thirteen children to survive. His father was a farm and forest worker. Mr. Bérard studied carpentry in school, and helped his crippled brother to learn the trade. In 1933, he enlisted with the Winnipeg Grenadiers to join their ball team - he was given the rank of corporal. He pursued extensive NCO training, attaining the rank of sergeant. Mr. Bérard offers us a view of the Honk Kong/Japan internment through the eyes of a soldier who deeply respected his officers and men, and who was in turn respected by them. Many of his clips include very personal references of this sort. After returning from the war, Mr. Bérard remained in the Army, where he trained soldiers for the Korean deployment.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Léo Paul Bérard
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Platoon Leader

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