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Malaria and Dysentery

Heroes Remember

Malaria and Dysentery

That malaria, that has got to be the worst when you get that real bad. I was actually praying that God would take me when I had malaria. And they did have quinine, they had a little shot glass and every time you went there, everyday you had a shot glass of this quinine. Oh my that's horrible tasting stuff, the liquid quinine. But then in North Point the dysentery got so bad, they took a lot of us and they thought they'd segregate us. I don't know if it made any difference or not but they did. They had this square building over by the seawall, and I don't know how many, they had one hell of a pile of us in there. And at the back end of that room, there was a door approximately ten feet wide in that, it was an opening, it wasn't really a door and it was about six feet right across the back end of there. And they had these five gallon buckets that we had to go use for latrines. And we were laying on the floor, no blankets and all the guys were laying on the floor side by side, and it got so bad in there, guys, you know, they couldn't get to them buckets back there. I'm not, so help me God, that floor was blood and crap, those guys crapping on that floor. We got so weak that they couldn't walk, and we had a lot of guys that were right beside us that were dying every day of that bloody dysentery. This is horror, that's not just an ordinary tale I'm telling you, it is, that's horror! Could you imagine? That guy living and sleeping in there and you're in that room 24 hours a day, you can't get out of there because they’re scared you might contaminate somebody else but we all had anyway.

Mr. Flegg describes praying to die during his worst episodes of malaria. Also a victim of dysentery, he describes the disgusting living conditions in the isolation ward.

Aubrey Flegg

Aubrey Flegg was born on October 18, 1917 in Welland, Ontario. His father moved the family to Northern British Columbia when he was three. Mr. Flegg describes living on a “stump farm”, and working from a very early age. Leaving home at sixteen, he trapped in winter and felled timber during warmer months. Mr. Flegg was married with a young family when the war started, but he enlisted out of patriotic duty. He joined Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, and later reinforced the Winnipeg Grenadiers, thinking he would be going to Europe. Instead, Mr. Flegg found himself trying to defend Hong Kong from the Japanese against overwhelming odds. Imprisoned for four years, he survived the ravages of disease, starvation, abuse and forced labor in both North Point and Sham Shui Po Camps and the Oyama mines. Mr. Flegg offers an impassioned story of the Hong Kong experience.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Aubrey Flegg
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Machine Gunner

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