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Deadly Revenge

Heroes Remember

Well we had to make the moulds for different parts of the motors and whatnot on the ships and then we had to smelt them and take them on to the finishing shop and then another crew started and done the same thing and we just went round and round like that. And I do remember that if you, like when we were cleaning the casts -- like after it was cooled you had to clean it -- that if when you were cleaning that cast, if you happened to break something, because you were using hammers and chisels and whatnot, if you happened to break something and you reported it right away they just laughed about it, but if you didn’t report it, then you got a hell of a beating. We’d bust castings, especially when we were cleaning say, one of them big motors, we’d clean the casting on parts of the big motors, we would bust them on purpose. You see, actually when we were working in the shipyards, the guards were not with us. It was the Japanese people themselves that worked there that was with us. They were over us while we worked there and some of them were very good. It was the guards that were the dirty ones. The guards were really... I don’t know. I know of one guard in the finishing shop, they had a big overhead, what the heck would you call it. It was a long shaft went overhead with a bunch of pullies on it to run everything, all the equipment in there. And the motor that was running it had steel belting on it going up and I know that there was one Japanese guard, he was a big fellow and he was mean, he was really mean. Not only with us but with the Japanese, and one of the Japanese that was working there, he beat him continually, this guard did, and that Japanese guy there he got a couple of our guys to help him when there was nobody around watching. Pushed him and held that big Jap up against that until that steel lacing caught him and they picked him up with chop sticks. He was killed. 'Cause some of the Japanese people were not all bad, there were some pretty good ones. We had some pretty good bosses that we worked under.

Mr. Lowe describes his responsibilities in the Yokohama shipyard foundry, routine sabotage, and deadly revenge against a cruel guard.

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
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Machine Gunner

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