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   THE FALL OF HONG KONG DECEMBER 25, 1941  Private George R. Churchill  Private Kenneth Gates Private Angus John Jacquard, Private Gilbert G. Jacquard As part of the defence force of the British Colony of Hong Kong, the Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers sailed from Vancouver on October 27, 1941. They arrived on November 16.  On December 8th, 1941 some 14,000 British and Canadian troops defended the Island against the attacking Japanese Army. “The Japanese were getting closer and there was no significant air or naval defence.  The RAF was a small crowd, seven officers and sixty men with ten aircraft, five of them obsolete. The navy had one destroyer, ten motor boats and a few gunboats. Hong Kong did have Canadian and British troops and four thousand Europeans, Portuguese, and Chinese but the Japanese were battle hardened and they outnumber us. After the first air attacks the RAF had but one plane intact.  They joined the land defenses, some dug in just above the Canadians who tried to be helpful ... took them  up some hot tea and helped them with the digging.  There was also heavy bombing of the harbour, and there were many casualties. The navy ordered all ships scuttled and took up land defence.  The Japanese landed on the island....and the defenders failed to drive them out.  What a Christmas day! ... Empty stomachs, tired out, and only heaven knew what was going to happen next ...  The Japanese were pushing against what remained of the defence.”  (dialogue as presented in Echoes of the Forties - Wartime Heritage Association 2008) The battle for Hong Kong lasted from the 8th of December until the 25th.  At 3:15 on the afternoon of Christmas Day, the British Governor surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Army.  In the seventeen and a half days of battle 290 Canadians were killed and 493 wounded. For the next three and a half years, the Canadian and British POWs were imprisoned in Hong Kong and Japan.  They endured brutal treatment and near-starvation. In the Prisoner of War Camps they would often work 12 hours a day in mines or on the docks in the cold. Many did not survive. In all, more than 550 of the 1,975 Canadians who sailed from Vancouver in October 1941 never returned. Among those taken prisoner were Private George R. Churchill of Sandford, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Private Kenneth Gates, Kemptville, Yarmouth County, Private Angus John Jacquard, Little River Harbour, Yarmouth County, and Private Gilbert G. Jacquard, Comeau’s Hill, Yarmouth County.   Private Angus John Jacquard died in Japanese  prisoner of war camp on or about January 1, 1944. JACQUARD, ANGUS J. aged 20 years, died January 1, 1944. (Rifleman)  Royal Rifles of Canada, R.C.I.C.   Cemetery -  Yokohama War Cemetery  Grave Reference - Cdn Sec. A. C. 12.   Son of John J. and Julia Jacquard, of Little River Harbour, Yarmouth Co., Nova Scotia, Canada. Listed among the victims of Japanese Prisoner of War Commander Masato Yoshida is Augus John Jacquard.
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The Fall of Hong Kong December 25, 1941