Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

September 30, 2007 15:00 ET

Hong Kong Veterans Honoured in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2007) - Steven Fletcher, M.P. for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia, on behalf of the Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, joined George Peterson, President of the Hong Kong Veterans Association, at a ceremony on Sunday to unveil a plaque dedicated to the Winnipeg Grenadiers.

"Events like this remind Canadians that our involvement in the Second World War went beyond Europe to include the Pacific-and that brave Canadians made sacrifices for freedom the world over," said Minister Thompson. "This tradition of service continues today and Canada remains committed to bringing peace to troubled areas of the world."

The plaque unveiled in Sunday's ceremony is a duplicate of a plaque that was installed in Hong Kong in December 2005, during events to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Liberation of Hong Kong Prisoners of War. The original plaque, dedicated to the Winnipeg Grenadiers, was unveiled at the Tai Tam Country Park, close to Jardine's Lookout in Hong Kong. Its duplicate is now permanently installed at Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg.

"I know that Manitobans hold a very special place in their hearts for those who served in Hong Kong," said M.P. Steven Fletcher. "This plaque is a reminder that we owe them a great debt of gratitude for their sacrifices and strength in a time of war."

Nearly 2,000 Canadians, alongside other Commonwealth troops, fought in the Battle of Hong Kong. After 17 days of intense fighting with inadequate arms, supplies, and manpower, the Governor of the Crown Colony of Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas Day, 1941. The fighting claimed the lives of 290 Canadians. The survivors spent almost four years in prisoner of war camps and were forced to work in mines, shipyards and other industries. A further 264 Canadian soldiers died as prisoners of war.

For more information on Canada's involvement in Hong Kong, visit www.vac-acc.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    613-996-4649