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How Many of us are Going to be Left Around Here?

Heroes Remember

How Many of us are Going to be Left Around Here?

And in this Sham Shui Po, there was a building that was, housed the engineers, British engineers at that time, became the hospital for the ones that were, that had diphtheria. And then of course, in the huts, some huts were full of people that had dysentery. They needed a lot of help, like some washing blankets, washing sheets, washing the men, and things like that. So I became a nurse to help these people. But at Christmas time, I went to that building where the diphtheria and I seen my CQMS there, an Irishman, Bill Pigot. I sat down on the floor. We sang some songs and things like that. When I got back, Doctor Crawford gave me hell for going over there. He says, “What if you get diphtheria?” he said. “How many of us are going to be left around here if you do that sort of thing?” Another doctor says, “Maybe it’s because you’re a carrier.” I didn’t know that. But anyway, to me, I wanted to help so I went and sang songs with them. By this time we were pretty well, we weren’t gonna come back so, do the best you can.

Mr. Bérard describes volunteering to nurse diphtheria patients at Sham Shui Po, and being reprimanded by the camp doctor over a Christmas singsong with those patients.

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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