Soldiers who fought in the Battle of Hong Kong in December 1941 were recognized at a ceremony at the Royal Canadian Legion’s Estevan branch on Friday afternoon.
A plaque from the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association was unveilled. The plaque features photos related to the battle. Warren Jesse and Grant Bembridge, whose respective fathers Bernard Jesse and Howard Bembridge were prisoners of war after being captured in the battle, participated in the unveilling.There was also some memorabilia from Jesse and Bembridge in the legion hall.
Kathie Carlson with the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association said the plaque was introduced for education purposes.
“It’s visual. People love visual,” said Carlson. “It pulls people together into a little ceremony. And it shows, if you have a chance to look, it’s really quite informative.”
She believes the plaques have turned out great. It’s filled with photos, as opposed to the classic engraved plaque.
The plaque was created earlier this year, and has been unveilled in communities across the country where there are family members of the veterans who fought in the Battle of Hong Kong.
Carlson noted that most of the veterans didn’t talk about their experiences at the Battle of Hong Kong or if they were prisoners of war. Many of them who survived that battle came back to Canada in very poor health.
Carlson noted there are still 11 living veterans from the Battle of Hong Kong.
The plaque will be located in the wall of honour in the legion’s small hall.
Next week’s edition of the Mercury will have more on this story.