OTTAWA, Dec. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino,
Minister of Veterans Affairs, Pierre Lemieux, Member of Parliament for
Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, today joined Veterans and family members to
pay tribute to the more than 1,900 brave Canadians who participated in
the Battle of Hong Kong, during a commemorative ceremony at the "C"
Force Memorial Wall in Ottawa.
"Those who fought in the Battle of Hong Kong were among the first
Canadians to see action during the Second World War," stated Minister
Fantino. "These men demonstrated great courage and determination in the
face of almost unimaginable adversity and I encourage all Canadians to
reflect on the efforts and sacrifices they made so that we may live in
a safer world."
A total of 1,975 Canadians, from units that included the Winnipeg
Grenadiers and the Royal Rifles of Canada, participated in the Battle
of Hong Kong. The fighting began on December 8, 1941, and lasted some
18 days before Allied forces were forced to surrender. Approximately
290 Canadians were killed in action and almost 500 more were wounded.
Those who survived were taken captive and spent the rest of the war in
the brutal conditions of Japanese prisoner of war (POW) camps. More
than 260 Canadians died 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 some of the surviving prisoners of war
finally returned home.
MP Lemieux—who observed Remembrance Day this year in Hong Kong and made
a special visit to the Sai Wan cemetery to honour Canada's fallen
heroes—said, "The Battle of Hong Kong is a significant moment in our
military history. Many Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice during
this campaign and their sacrifice will never be forgotten."
On December 8, 2011, the Government of Japan issued an apology to the
former Canadian POWs for their suffering during the Second World War. A
delegation of Canadian Hong Kong Veterans traveled to Japan for the
For more information on the Battle of Hong Kong or on Veterans Affairs
Canada's programs and services, visit veterans.gc.ca.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the
heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to defend the Republic
of Korea and uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs