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Kanooks In HongKong 70-Years Today

Castle Denizenne SKK at the sharp prompting of Denizen Capt. H., reminded us of an incredible act of heroism by our neighbors of the north.  On a day like today 70-years ago, two brave Canadian Infantry Battalions fought to the end, the onslaught of three crack Japanese divisions in HongKong.

First up, is Sgt. Major John R. Osborn, VC

(Click to see his exploits)

Then yesterday, and by serendipity, I was made aware of another great exploit that same day from an unlikely hero:

(Click to see his exploits)

Winston Churchill, in his 6-Tome work: "The History of WWII", pays homage to their struggle.  In it he reprints his letter to the Crown Governor of HongKong Sir Mark Young:
21 Dec '41.
We were greatly concerned to hear of the landings on HongKong Island which have been effected by the Japanese.  We cannot judge from here the conditions which rendered these landings possible or prevented effective counter-attacks upon the intruders.  There must however be no thought of surrender.  Every part of the island must be fought and the enemy resisted with the utmost stubbornness.
The Enemy should be compelled to expend the utmost life and equipment.  There must be vigorous fighting in the inner defenses, and, if the need be, from house to house.  Every day that you are able to maintain your resistance you help the Allied cause all over the world, and by a prolonged resistance you and your men can win the lasting honour which we are sure will be your due.
Churchill then relates:
These orders were obeyed in spirit and to the letter.  Among many acts of devotion one may be recorded here.  On December 19th the Canadian Brigadier Lawson reported that his headquarters were overrun; fighting was taking place at point-blank range; he was going outside to fight it out.  He did so, and he and those with him were killed.  For a week the garrison held out.  Every man who could bear arms, including some from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, took part in a desperate resistance.  Their tenacity was matched by the fortitude of the British civilian population.  On Christmas Day the limit of endurance was reached and capitulation was inevitable.  Under their resolute Governor Sir Mark Young, the colony had fought a good fight.  They had won indeed the "Lasting Honour" which is their due.

The Red Ensign was made proud that fateful day.


Boq

9 Comments

This has nothing to do with a pay-per-click scheme we heard about via JMH, who is not getting any kickbacks with which to stock up on s'mores fixin's for the next time he gets put on campfire duty. Nothing at all. This is completely 100% above board. 

Now, the helicopter pics... those may have been connected to the Ponzi scheme. Perhaps. Maybe.
 
Interesting poster.  The beaver looks to have a short boar spear. 
 
IIRC, CSM Osborn is one of those with no known grave.
 
You're right. He has a plaque at the Sai Wan war cemetery in Hong Kong, but no known burial site. 
 

There were many heroic acts during the defence of Hong Kong. Even the mascot of the Royal Regiment of Canada, Gander a Newfoundland Dog was a hero, after repelling two Japanese attacks with his fierceness he picked up a Japanese grenade that landed near a group of wounded Canadian soldiers and carried it away. It exploded killing Gander. He was awarded the Dickin Medal for animal heroism.

 
Hong Kong was pretty near indefensible, considering what those guys were faced with, but Dang! they gave a good account of themselves.
 
 Heh.  Rich, is, of course, right.  As everyone would know if they did what Boq suggested, and clicked the link of the picture of.... Gander the dog, there in the middle of the post.

Not aimed at you specifically, Rich.  It's just bemusing to me how many people don't click the links, but will load into the comments information that comes from... the links.

Happens all the time - it's just an interesting aspect of internet behavior.
 
Thank you for remembering, most of those soldiers barely had any training when war hit them. Many did not survive the camps afterwards.

Here is a picture of the soldiers marching to the waterfront in Vancouver, some sources attribute the photo to the soldiers who were captured in Hong Kong, although this link say it's the BCR's which went to Europe. I know my Mom briefly dated one of the soldiers who went to Hong Kong, he gave her his cap badge which I still have.

http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/06/25/wait-for-me-daddy/
 
Greetings:

Back during my all-expense-paid tour of sunny Southeast Asia, I had a Canadian volunteer in my infantry squad. He was a "strac" trooper who never failed us on the hunt or in a fight. Whenever, I hear about all our own American miscreants who fled north, I kind of smile to myself and think I sure got the better of that deal. One doesn't hear much about all the Canadians who volunteered for the American armed forces back then; apparently it doesn't fit the narrative or some such.

Now one of the bits of Canadian culture that the above mentioned young man inflicted upon me was something called the "Goofie Newfie" about whom many tomes had been written including gems studying for one's urine test. Obviously, this was in the dark days pre-multi-culti-diversity hysteria. But still, they did name their main airport after a male goose. I think I will update that part to the above-mentioned dog.