Arriving in Hong Kong

Heroes Remember

Arriving in Hong Kong

Interviewer: Can you tell me about the experience when you first landed on ground? There was 13 of us, not the same 13, but we were on an advanced party to go to the camp, and I was one of them. And we went by truck, the rest of them all marched it was about 8 miles. I'm guessing that now, I've been back there several times since, but I still think it's about 8 miles. And they marched it and I was lucky enough to get ahead of them. I was in the headquarters, headquarters company and for some reason however we were advanced. Interviewer: So were you in England at this point? No, no we were in Hong Kong. Interviewer: In Hong Kong, you landed in Hong Kong. No we landed in Kowloon, which is about 4 miles or 10 minutes or so across the island from Hong Kong. And from when we landed we went to camp Sham Shui Po. Interviewer: So a young boy from Saskatchewan, is on the grounds of Hong Kong. On the grounds of Hong Kong. Interviewer: What do you see? Well... mountains, crowded streets, I mean I was told that 2 million people have been up, come up from Canton within the last 18 months and they were sleeping across the streets. At 5 o'clock there was no traffic allowed on the streets of Hong Kong or Kowloon because of the people bunking down on the streets and so forth. So that was kind of unusual for us but we had a pretty good time. We were there, I think we landed on November 22nd and the war broke out on December 8th... December 7th here, but it's December 8th over there.

Mr. McGee recalls an eight mile march to their camp but he was lucky enough to get a drive with Headquarters Company.

John McGee

Mr. John McGee was born in Saskatchewan, on May 3, 1923, and comes from a family of two brothers and three sisters. He now resides in Edmonton, Alberta, with his wife and family. Mr. McGee joined the army and left for wartime service with a group of thirteen men. Although very excited to be going overseas, he recalls the sight of seeing young men jumping overboard when the ship began to sail; the fear of the unknown was causing many to turn back and stay at home! Mr. McGee was determined to go and serve his country. Mr. McGee shares with us his personal experience of being captured as a Hong Kong prisoner of war (POW) and hardships he endured at the camp. He considers himself very fortunate to be alive today, as many of his friends were left behind. After six years of serving in the army, Mr. McGee returned home to be what he terms an "Entrepreneur" buying a few hotels and later on getting into the sales business. Civilian life was a very positive outcome for a soldier who had endured such hard times and poor health during his time in the prisoner of war camps.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John McGee
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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