OTTAWA, Dec. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney,
Minister of Veterans Affairs, Senator Vernon White laid a wreath today
at the "C" Force Memorial Wall during a commemorative ceremony to mark
the 71st anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong.
"Canadians who fought in Hong Kong demonstrated great courage and
determination in the defence of peace and freedom," said Minister
Blaney. "Those who fought in Hong Kong suffered greatly. I encourage
all Canadians to recognize and honour the incredible efforts and
sacrifices they made so that we may live in a safer world."
"I was honoured to join Veterans and their families to remember the
courage and sacrifices of those who fought in Hong Kong," said Senator
White. "We remember these Canadians who represented our nation with
pride and determination."
Canadians arrived in Hong Kong on November 16, 1941 to help defend it
from Japanese invasion. Japan attacked Hong Kong on December 8, 1941.
On December 25, 1941, greatly outnumbered and exhausted from continuous
battle, the Allies were forced to surrender. Approximately 1,975
Canadians, from units that included the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the
Royal Rifles of Canada, participated in this 18-day Second World War
Of the Canadians who participated in the Battle of Hong Kong,
approximately 290 were killed in the fighting and almost 500 more were
wounded. The survivors were taken prisoner and spent the rest of the
war in brutal conditions that saw more than 260 additional Canadians
die in captivity. On August 15, 1945, the Second World War finally came
to an end in the Far East but it would be December of that year before
many of the surviving Canadian prisoners of war finally returned home.
Last year, Canadian Veterans of the Battle of Hong Kong received the
Japanese government's apology for the mistreatment of Canadian
prisoners during the war. A delegation of Canadian Hong Kong Veterans
was accompanied by Minister Blaney to Japan for this special
For more information on Canada's contribution in Hong Kong, visit veterans.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Jean-Christophe de le Rue
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs