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Canadians, The Very Best!

Heroes Remember

Canadians, The Very Best!

I would like to make this very clear. The Japanese nations, I hate them. Abhorrence that I can’t control, but I say the nation, not the ones that are becoming Canadians. They should remember, if they are Canadians, they’re Canadians. But the one on that Island, I hope they never, never prosper. They were asleep at the switch. They should have been awake, like that General Quartermaster not giving us the proper equipment to go with. How come that always it’s the poor private that’s not being trained that makes the most mistakes and then those people make grave mistakes like that and you never hear about it? Like, our officers they’re all, and our men they just didn’t know any different to do the soldiering they we taught to do. Mind you, I disliked some of the things that we did like having to salute for three weeks because we didn’t salute a British Major. But, the men that I had, I couldn’t have had any better soldiers. They’re the best, Canadians. The very best.

Mr. Bérard reflects on his lifelong resentment of Japan, has harsh words about Canada’s military decisions but finishes by expressing his total respect for the officers and men with whom he served.

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
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Platoon Leader

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