Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

December 22, 2008 09:55 ET

Minister Thompson Marks 67th Anniversary of the Defence of Hong Kong

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 22, 2008) - The Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, issued the following statement today regarding the 67th anniversary of the defence of Hong Kong.

"During the Second World War, Canadian soldiers were active in both Europe and the Far East. This year marks the 67th anniversary of the defence of Hong Kong.

In November 1941, more than 1,900 Canadian soldiers arrived in Hong Kong as part of a mission to counter an attack by Japan. On December 8, 1941 they found themselves immersed in more than seventeen days of intense fighting, now known as the Battle of Hong Kong. The tragic conflict resulted in 290 Canadian lives lost and another 493 wounded.

Unfortunately, the death toll and hardship did not end with the battle. Despite their best efforts, the Allied Forces were overrun on Christmas Day and those who survived were forced into prisoner of war camps. Prisoners endured nearly four years of deplorable conditions including brutal treatment and near-starvation resulting in 264 Canadian deaths.

Today, we honour the Canadians who fought in the Battle of Hong Kong for their sacrifice and commitment to the same values and beliefs that our troops continue to defend. Over the years, generations of Canadian heroes have served our country and the world. Our brave men and women have always answered the world's call because that is the Canadian way.

On the 67th anniversary of the defence of Hong Kong, we remember the sacrifices made by brave Canadians so others would enjoy freedom and peace.

Lest we forget."

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications