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The War is Over

Heroes Remember

We were underground, at least I was. The crew I was with was underground when the foreman of the mine came down or the superintendent or whatever they called him of the mine, the boss of the mine came down, and told us. He said, “Well boys clean up and go up,” he said, “the war is over.” We said, “Who won?” “Well, your side did.” “Well then you clean up yourself.” And we went up. And when we got to camp we had Japanese guards still in the pill boxes at the camp. We threw them out and took their guns away from them and we got tar paper from our officers over it because they said they were there to guard us. We figured we could guard ourselves a hell of a lot better than they could. After that we went to Sendai, got drunk, raised hell and me and this other lad we met a Japanese officer strutting down the street. He had a P38, a German P38 in a holster and he had a sword. I took his P38 and my friend took his sword, and we booted his ass, got a little bit even. We didn’t hurt him very much though. Oh, there was a bunch of fighter planes flew over the camp and they dropped a wrench down with a note tied on it to make us sign as to how many men was in the prison camp and we went in the store room and got sheets that we had never seen before and we made a sign as to how many people was in the camp. Two hours later them same planes come back over and dropped each one of us a t-bone steak, a carton of chocolates, a carton of chewing gum and a carton of tobacco, or not tobacco but cigarettes. And then a few days later the bombers came over and they dropped food in 45 gallon drums, two of them welded together and they dropped them out in a rice paddy and we went out and retrieved them and it was right full of canned food. I ate a whole box of chocolates, and I wasn't alone. And I’m telling you I was so sick, I thought I was going to die.

Mr. Lowe describes being told the war is over and the events which followed before finally leaving Sendai camp.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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