Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

December 10, 2011 12:11 ET

Parliamentary Secretary Colin Carrie Marks the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 10, 2011) - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Colin Carrie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Oshawa, laid a wreath today at the "C" Force Memorial Wall during a commemorative ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong.

"As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong, we remember the courage and sacrifice of the Canadians who represented our nation with pride and determination," said Minister Blaney. "We remember the brave men and women who accomplished extraordinary things in order to protect our values of liberty, democracy and the rule of law. As Canadians we come together to pay tribute to those who sacrificed so much so that we can live in a better world."

"It is my honour to join family members of Canadian prisoners of war on this important occasion and to acknowledge the apology by the Japanese government earlier this week for the suffering of prisoners of war under Japanese control during the Second World War," said Colin Carrie. "This important gesture is a crucial step in ongoing reconciliation. It acknowledges their ongoing suffering while honouring their sacrifice and courage."

Approximately 1,975 Canadians participated in this Second World War battle, which took place from December 8 to 25, 1941. On Christmas Day 1941, unable to fight any longer, the Allies had no choice but to surrender Hong Kong Island. Approximately 290 Canadians lost their lives in the battle. The remaining Canadian troops were taken prisoners of war for almost four years.

The prisoners endured systematic mistreatment including near-starvation. In the end, more than 1,000 Canadians were either killed or wounded in the Battle of Hong Kong and its aftermath.

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.

For more information on Canada's contribution in Hong Kong, visit veterans.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Veterans Affairs Canada
    613-992-7468

    Codie Taylor
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    613-996-4649