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They Never had a Roll Call This Last Four Years

Heroes Remember

They Never had a Roll Call This Last Four Years

We were in that camp there at the mine, the prison camp and there was a Japanese come in, in the evening and he says, “All men got to be out for roll call.” He says, “Tomorrow morning, all men out for roll call, Japanese officer, English.” And so, we all got ready. We went out for roll call and he called a number, called it by the third, fourth time. “Well,” he says, “I know there are some of you men missing. It couldn’t be helped.” Well, he says, “Now, I must tell you, I got this to tell you.” He says, “You’re going to be glad to hear it. The war is over, it’s all over. Now you got a father or mother, sister, brother or some loving sweetheart that you’d like to see and you’re going back home to see them.” He says, “You’re going to go back home to see them.” And there was one fellow by the name of Maurice Davignault, from Montreal. And when I said, “Why do they want the men all out for roll call?” Lance Ross from Hopetown and that Davignault from Montreal, who was military police, Lance says, “Well, I wonder,” he says. I says, “You know what, Lance?” He says, “What?” I says, “The war is over. They never had a roll call for the last four years and why are they calling a roll call now? I’m telling you the war is over!” Now more than that boys, I was talking to Lance Ross and he comes over, Davignault comes over and gives me that right in the mouth, broke one of my teeth, made my mouth bleed. I turned. Lance says, “What are you doing there? What did you go and strike him for?” He says, “That fool, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” And when the officer called the roll call and said that all men is going home, the war is over, he just put his arm around me, he was right next to me, Davignault, and Lance was on that side and he was by me and he put his hand around my neck and he cried like a baby. He was sorry for what he had done and said.

Mr. Hunt describes how tension in the camp masks the reality that the war is over.

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
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada
Machine Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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