Remembering the Kamloops Kid

Heroes Remember

Remembering the Kamloops Kid

Interviewer: At Sham Shui Po, there was an interpreter there, Mr. Forsyth, you may remember him by the nickname "Kamloops Kid." I remember him very well. Yes, yes, yes, yes Interviewer: What do you remember about him? Well, he was a fiend, he was a fiend, he was a fiend. He said that he'd been, as a child that he had been in the west, our west coast, and that had been, according to him, he'd been treated badly and he said that he would, he said that he would simply take it out on us. And, and there was someone representing the Red Cross and I believe the rumour was he was from Switzerland and that he had, he had been granted the power to visit prison war camps, and he came to our camp and he, he saw that things were bad, they were very bad. And the Kamloops Kid wouldn't let him near the, the, the hospital, so called hospital, because some of the inmates were dead and hadn't had time to take them out. So Captain Norris said to this, this observer from Switzerland or some neutral nation,he said, "You've got to have a look-see into this hospital." And the Kamloops Kid said, "No, we won't." And, and Norris said, "We will." Well, this observer from Switzerland and the Red Cross he, Norris took him to see what, how bad things were. And as soon as this stranger had left, the Kamloops Kid turned on, on, on Captain Norris out in the middle of the parade square, and he beat him so savagely that finally, finally Norris dropped unconscious. And, and, and men come out to carry Norris into, into a hut and, and the Kamloops Kid wouldn't let, wouldn't let them touch Norris. But Norris lived to come back, but he'd been struck so often in the head that, that he was never right, he was never right, he was never, got back to being normal, he never got back to being normal, he never got back to being normal.

Mr. Forsyth remembers an interpreter nicknamed ‘Kamloops Kid’ and an incident of him beating a POW captain for pointing out poor conditions to a visiting Red Cross observer.

Thomas Smith Forsyth

Mr. Forsyth was born on a farm just outside of Pipestone, Manitoba, on April 26, 1910. He worked on the farm and attended school until grade 11, joining the army the following year when war was declared. After being accepted into the Winnipeg Grenadiers, Mr. Forsyth was briefly stationed in Jamaica guarding German POWs before being posted to Hong Kong. Captured in the Battle of Hong Kong, Mr. Forsyth was interned as a POW in North Point and Sham Shui Po prison camps, before being sent to Niigata Camp 5B in Japan as a slave labourer. After years of heavy labour, physical abuse, and terrible living conditions, Mr. Forsyth was liberated from 5B when Japan surrendered. He returned to his family in Manitoba soon thereafter.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Thomas Smith Forsyth
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Garrison Military Police

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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