Language selection


No Protection

Heroes Remember

We didn’t have no weapons to train with. The rifles that we were issued was old Enfield rifles and they had a red band painted around the muzzle. Some of them you couldn’t even open the bolt on them. The only thing any good was the bayonet. Well we did get hold of some... The British did have some machine guns there and we had to take them by force from the British. They were in their stores and we had to go in and take them by force in order to get them. We got some Vickers, Bren and Thompson. There was Thompson sub-machines guns. Bren, Vickers and Lewis. We were... and then after we moved onto the island, we were on one end of the island, the British was on the other end. We had two inch trench mortars, they had three inch trench mortars. We had their ammunition and they had ours. It was definitely confused. The pill boxes... two shells from a 303 British rifle would punch a hole through them. They were built by a German contractor. We had no protection.

Mr. Lowe describes how poorly armed they were and breaking into British stores to get more weapons.

Garfield Lowe

Garfield Lowe was born in Cobalt, Ontario, on May 6, 1919. His mother died shortly after his birth. His father was a mine manager, but moved to Rackham, Manitoba, and setup a blacksmith shop where Garfield learned the trade from his father. Mr. Lowe was on his own at age 15, and over the next six years did a variety of jobs, including trapping skunks for two dollars a pelt, farm labourer and sawmill worker. During this time he was married and had two children. At the age of 21, he enlisted with the Winnipeg Grenadiers. After completing basic training in Sherbrooke, Quebec, he performed internment camp duty in Kingston, Jamaica, where he received extensive machine gun training (no live fire), but no infantry tactics. In Mr. Lowe’s words, the Grenadiers were reinforced with “rejects” before leaving for Hong Kong. Mr. Lowe spent time in four different camps during his incarceration, and witnessed some horrifying events which haunt him to this day.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Garfield Lowe
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Machine Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: