The Monument


On August 15, 2009, a six meter long wall, clad in black granite, topped with four stone mountains replicating the Island of Hong Kong, was unveiled on the banks of the Rideau River in Ottawa. Carved into the granite are the names of 1976 Canadian men and women of The Royal Rifles of Canada and The Winnipeg Grenadiers. They were the first Canadians to engage in a land battle in the defense of The Island of Hong Kong during World War Two.

On December 8, 1941 Japan attacked the Island of Hong Kong. The Battle lasted 18 days ending on Christmas Day.

Of the 1976 soldiers who began the Battle of Hong Kong 290 were killed in action. While being held captive by the Japanese for forty-four months another 267 died of the brutal treatment and neglect at the hands of the Japanese. Because The Battle was deemed a ‘defeat’ those who fought it were not given the respect they were due for their courageous and tenacious struggle against overwhelming odds. They were forgotten. For years they fought another battle for the recognition they so richly deserved. They won the final battle on August 15, 2009.

These words were spoken by Phil Doddridge, President of The Hong Kong Veteran’s Association at the unveiling of the monument. “Until this stone disintegrates and returns to dust, we will be remembered. May we all from our place in the hereafter be able to look down upon this monument and say, ‘My name is written there: I am remembered.” My Dad’s name is written there. I am so proud.



The Hong Kong Veterans Memorial Wall, on the Rideau River near Canada’s Parliament Buildings, lists the names of the 1,975 men and women that helped defend Hong Kong. The 17 day battle was Canada’s first military engagement of the Second World War.

The Japanese army invaded the then British Colony from Mainland China in December 1941. The Canadian defenders, fresh off the boat, and lacking equipment and proper training, fought heroically until the colony surrendered to Japanese forces on Christmas Day 1941.

Remarks by Phil Doddridge, President Hong Kong Veterans Association of Canada




On August 15, 2009 I was fortunate to be able to attend the unveiling of The Hong Kong Veterans Wall in Ottawa located on National Capital Commission property at the corner of King Edward Avenue and Sussex Drive in Ottawa. It is a fitting tribute to all who endured the unendurable should have this wall that will endure for all to see for years to come. It was a day to be remembered. Ron Parker

This page is made possible by Bill Lake, a long time resident of Hong Kong, who has scoured the Internet to discover some of the most incredible film clips, photographs and articles about Hong Kong before, during and after The Battle of Hong Kong. Many are culled from the library.

Some may make you laugh, some will make you cry. Some are long, some are short, all are worth watching. You won't be able to watch them all in one sitting. I suggest you bookmark this page under your favourites and return to this site at your leisure. Thank you, Bill, for the hard work you have done.

Bill Lake is a man of many facets. A soldier, a sailor and a document maker, the latter his current passion. He started his documentary about the Fall of Hong Kong, "BATTLE FOR A BARREN ROCK", in 2000. (It took almost 8 years to complete). He has what he calls his War Group of about 100 people interested in this part of HK history. He forwards all new, or interesting, information to them on a regular basis. His ability to dig into the past and come up with rich nuggets is amazing. Without him this page would not exist. That's Bill during The Remembrance Day Ceremony in Hong Kong.

Bill, an ex- artillery man, is an avid member of the Hong Kong Ex Servicemen’s Association, and also the Gunners Roll of Hong Kong. As if that's not enough to keep him busy he is working on a follow-up book to "Battle For A Barren Rock" entitled "Prisoner On A Barren Rock".

Between his regular job and working on his passions Bill also gives talks and presentations on The Battle of Hong Kong to anyone, and everyone, who is interested. He is a fountain of information, a fact treasure hunter, and does in 24 hours what others would do in 48 hours. Thanks for all, Bill.

All the links to clips listed below came to me from Bill
Lake. How he does it I do not know. What matters is .... he does it.

The Japanese invasion of Hong Kong

On December 8th, 1941, the Japanese Army began the invasion of The Island of Hong Kong with an air raid, and an attack on the mainland British fortification called The Gin Drinkers Line. The footage shown here is graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.

To view, click here

Company Sergeant-Major John Robert Osborn died on December 19, 1941, defending British garrison of Hong Kong against Japanese attack. While fighting with small numbers of his unit, The Winnipeg Grenadiers, Osborn repeatedly showed great acts of heroism, including attacking the enemy single-handedly. On several occasions he picked up and threw back Japanese grenades that had landed in Canadian positions. When he was unable to return one of these grenades, he threw himself on it and was killed instantly. Company Sergeant-Major Osborn was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions that day. Click here.

Royal Rifles Rfm. Laureat Bacon

J'ai fait ce clip pour honorer la mémoire de mon Grand-père Lauréat Bacon. Qui c'est enrôler en 1940 à l'âge de 34 ans. Il était membre des Royal Rifles of Canada. Dans la compagnie A. Les Royal Rifles et les Winnipeg Grenadiers ont été envoyés à Hong-Kong en novembre 1941 pour renforcé la garnison Britannique, que les autorités savaient intenable contre les Japonais. Sous-entraînés et n'ayant que très peu d'équipement (l'équipement n'est jamais arrivé...), nos soldats Canadiens ont quand mêmes combattu et tenu tête aux soldats Japonais pendant 18 jours. Mon Grand-père a combattu, a été fait prisonnier et est mort, le 11 août 1942 à l'âge de 36 ans, suite au mauvaise condition de détention dans les camps Japonais. NEVER FORGET! Cliquez ici 

The amazing story of Ronald Roultledge DCM, CD

Ronald Routledge was born in Regina and joined the Permanent Force just prior to the outbreak of the war. He had finished high school during the Great Depression and was coaxed into joining the Army by his father who had fought in World War I and was closely associated with the local military. Ronald was a member of The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals and attached to The Winnipeg Grenadiers and sent to Hong Kong. On December 25th, 1941 he was captured and imprisoned.

During his 44 months of captivity he became involved in a clandestine operation that smuggled food, medicines and much needed information between he POW Camps in the Hong Kong area. He was found out by the Japanese and underwent extension torture.

Here is his story. Click here to read the account of his brave activity.Get the book that tells the story of The Battle of Hong Kong from a Canadian perspective in detail and in the words of those who fought for 18 horrific days until Christmas day, 1941. $19.95 US plus shipping

The Actual Japanese Surrender Amazing Footage filmed on Sunday, Sept 2, 1945


Please click here to the Japanese Surrender. (Thanks to Bob Tatz.)

The Apology On December 8th, 2011 the Japanese issued a formal apology to Canadians they held captive following the fall of Hong Kong on December 25th, 1941, The treatment by the Japanese of POW;s was, by any standard, beyond inhumane. To some survivors it is too late in coming. To others it means little. Rwanda is an example of what being unforgiving can bring about, Is it ever too late to say you are sorry? Click here to hear the news as it broke.

During the occupation of Hong Kong the Chinese civilian population suffered unspeakable atrocities at the hands of the Japanese. In part, this is their story. The year 2011 is the 70th anniversary of Japan’s occupation of Hong Kong. To the older generation, the tragic three years and eight months will not be forgotten.

December 1941, when the Japanese forces were attacking Hong Kong, Peter Choi, President of the Second World War Veterans Association, was stationed at Kellett Bay, where he shot down a Japanese aircraft with the cannon. Their superiors rewarded them with a goat.

Pictured here are Peter Choi, President of The Second World War Veterans Assocation, and Bill Lake, an Association Member.

As local forces were heavily outnumbered, after holding out for eighteen days, Hong Kong fell into the hands of Japan.

During the occupation, Japanese forces mandated people to return to Mainland China. Population dropped from 1.6 million before the war to half a million after. Civilians were brutalized and rape was commonplace. How did those with young women at home cope? With the shortage of resources, how did the people feed themselves? How did people endure the darkest days of Hong Kong history.

Click here to view a clip of their lives in hell.

General Christopher Maltby's report in The London Gazette of January, 1948

After the war had ended an after action report was filed with the British Government and posted in the London Gazette edition of Thursday 29th, January, 1948. The report written by General Maltby was most unflattering with regard to the conduct of the Canadian Troops. Click here to read the report entitled, Operations in Hong Kong From 8th. to 21st. December 1942.

Click here to read the report.

Click here to listen to a magnificent version of the original The Last Post, The conductor of the orchestra is Andre Rieu from Holland. The young lady, her trumpet and her rendition of TAPS makes your hair stand on end. Many of you may never have heard taps played in its entirety, for all of the men & women that have died for you to have the freedom you have in America. This is an opportunity you won't want to miss and I guarantee you'll never forget.

Here is Taps played in its entirety. The Original version of Taps was called Last Post, and was written by Daniel Butterfield in 1801. It was rather lengthy and formal, as you will hear in this clip, so in 1862 it was shortened to 24 notes and re-named Taps. Melissa Venema is playing it on a trumpet whereby the original was played on a bugle. To listen to this incredible solo click here.

This tribute paid to all veterans, of every war, is performed so movingly by Terry Kelly

At the time of this writing we have just passed "Remembrance Day" as it is called in Canada. Whatever November 11 is called in your country the message of this song is as clear as it is beautifully moving. It communicates no matter what your language. A Pittance of Time - written and preformed by Terry Kelly

Click here and take the pittance of time to remember.







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Books on the Battle of Hong Kong