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Japanese Invade Hong Kong and Take POW’s

Heroes Remember

Japanese Invade Hong Kong and Take POW’s

Well we were, we had taken up our positions the day, the day before because of the, of the, the possibility of, that the Japanese were going to attack. And, so about, I guess nine- thirty or ten o'clock, we got a call that a platoon had, was, was needed to reinforce the, or to defend Mount Parker and that's when I entered the war for, the, I was part of the, of the, of the platoon that was designated to, to climb Mount Parker and, at the time, we thought, those of us who were in this platoon, thought that, that we were the only ones to defend Mount Parker, and our orders were to, to defend it at all costs, to, to climb it and defend, and defend it at all costs. But when we got there the Japanese had, were already in possession. However we lost two corporals in, in, in that skirmish, withdrawing from Mount Parker. From there everything gets sort of hazy, we, the, there was, most of "A" Company, if not all of it, was in Repulse Bay at that particular time. They took some of us to go to, I guess the idea was to see if we couldn't join up with the Winnipeg Grenadiers who were in Wanchai Gap, I think it was called. So we left and we, on the way up we came to a place called The Ridge, which happened to be an ordinance depot of the British Army and there were quite a number of, of soldiers there, ordinance people, none of whom had seen a rifle for dozens of years, in some cases, I think. But anyway we picked them up and we couldn't go any further. And during the, during that night, the ensuing night, it was decided to retreat back to Repulse Bay, but I never got back. We were ambushed and the, the Japanese had positioned themselves between us and the hotel and they opened up with, with machine guns and grenades and so on, even, I guess, a one-inch mountain gun. When the Japanese patrol came by, the, they decided that it was time for us to quit. So that's, we were actually fortunate that we were not, that we were not slain there because many of the people who, many of "A" Company, who had occupied Repulse Bay Hotel, when they vacated and started back for Stanley, quite a number of them were, were captured by the Japanese and were, and were murdered at a place called Eucliff Castle, which is just maybe two hundred yards from the Repulse Bay Hotel. It was, it's no longer in existence but their estimates had up to 29, I think, people were, were, were killed there. There may have been more, may have been less but they, that was a massacre.

Mr. Ewing describes his situation in Hong Kong when the Japanese invaded the colony. He remembers his first contact with the enemy and shortly thereafter being taken as a prisoner of war.

Kenneth Alexander Ewing

Kenneth Ewing was born in 1925, the 4th oldest of 12 children. His father was a civil engineer for the province of New Brunswick which enabled them to manage fairly well during the Depression. His father was a Lieutenant in the First World War and signed up as an engineer in the Second World War from 1942 to 1945. Mr. Ewing quit school in Grade 10 at the age of 15 to join the army. He was unsuccessful in his attempt to join the Merchant Navy and joined the militia in the spring of 1940. He then joined the N.B. Rangers (militia). In November 1940, he went active with the Royal Rifles. He did his basic training in Botwood, Newfoundland, guarding the port. He did further guard duty in Botwood, Gander, and St. John's, Newfoundland, Valcartier, Quebec, and Saint John, New Brunswick. He was posted to Hong Kong as a rifleman in "A" Company. He was taken POW and sent to a slave labour camp in Japan where he endured beatings, disease, and very poor living conditions but considered himself lucky since other Canadians had been executed.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Kenneth Alexander Ewing
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada

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