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Are you with the enemy, or are you with me?

Heroes Remember

Are you with the enemy, or are you with me?

We were all down in the mine and that number one foreman told us, “All work done. All men up.” So we started up and this, I saw the light coming, me and my brother Alfred was ahead, the rest was all following behind, walking. He says, “Down, down.” I says, “No, number one foreman said, ‘All men up. Work okay, done.’” “No, no,” he says, “all men go back down.” And there was just me and my brother Alfred. He was in the First World War, as far as I can understand, and he had his fingers all cut off this way and they called him “no fingers” and he took the gas lantern when he seen I didn’t want to go back, took his little gas lantern, for testing for gas in the mine, and he rise it like that to hit me. And when he did that, like a steel trap, I jumped and I got him. I give him one under there and there, and one there and they had a big, big pipe there, big air pipe. It was about that high and I’m sure that size round and he fell in behind that and I lifted him right off his feet. I was so mad. I didn’t know what I was doing and he only seemed to be about that long in front of me. I says, “You little flamer, you’re going to die there.” And I grabbed a rock. It was just as thick as that little stand there, I mean long and width, and I grabbed that and I had it up like that to give it to him, to throw on the little Jap. And my bother Alfred come, Goddarn near made me get it on my own head. Oh, oh, oh, oh. Well, I turned and I said to Alfred, “Look Alfred, are you with the Goddarn Japs or are you with me?” Well, he says, “No Hector, they’ll kill you if you kill that.” I says, “I got it up to here Alfred. I got enough of it since yesterday, I’m fed up, I can’t do no better.”

Mr. Hunt describes a confrontation with his supervisor in the coal mine, and his brother intervening to save the Japanese.

Hector Hunt

Hector Hunt was born in Pabos Mills, Quebec, on December 9, 1911. His father was the local river guardian. Mr. Hunt was the second oldest of 16 children. He had little schooling, having gone to the woods at the age of ten to cut pulp with his father. He also transported supplies to his father when he was busy on the river. At sixteen, Mr. Hunt started work at the Chandler pulp mill for twenty-five cents and hour. When the opportunity to enlist occurred, he signed up anticipating better wages and lifestyle. He had very little basic training and no live ammunition weapons training. Mr. Hunt served in Newfoundland before eventually being shipped overseas toHong Kong. He was a POW in both Hong Kong and Japan, where he worked in the coal mines near Niigata. Mr. Hunt credits his strong faith for helping him to endure his time in captivity. After completing his service, Mr. Hunt returned home to work in the local mill.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Hector Hunt
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada
Machine Gunner

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