Language selection

Inside the Wall Was a German Uniform

Heroes Remember

Inside the Wall Was a German Uniform

We went from Aberdine to Magazine Gap, from Magazine Gap to Peak and we were put in the Peak there, Peak Mansion. My platoon was put into a big mansion. And I told them, to my corporals, I said, “Go in there, make yourself comfortable, but,” I said, “don’t disarrange anything. Just leave things be.” I didn’t want them to tear things up or anything. I didn’t think they would. But when, because I was still interested in what the Japanese were doing on the outside. They were scared, so therefore they had to keep these men in order, I guess. When I walked in there, the only place that I could go and lie down was in one of these closets and so I took some of the clothes off the hangers there and I made myself a comfortable place. And I went to put my back against the wall and the wall gave. But there was another closet within this closet and inside there, there was a German uniform, even the spiked helmet and dress. Now it would be a red, it would be a real dress up uniform and I thought, well, maybe somebody was living here that was a spy.

Mr. Bérard describes being held prisoner in a mansion, and accidentally finding a German uniform behind a false wall.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: