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Kiotski! Kiotski!

Heroes Remember

We all lived in huts. It didn't matter whether there was any NCO’s in the hut, or who was in the hut, made no difference. The Japanese, they marched through these huts. These privates, very arrogant buggers, you know, they really were, very arrogant buggers. And they marched back and forth through the huts with this here peashooter over their shoulder. It was the duty, it wasn't the duty, we knew better if we didn't. The very first man that laid eyes on him coming in the door, hollered out, he jumped up and hollered out “Kiotski!”, that meant everybody stand to attention. And then when you stood to attention, when the Japanese come there you said “Kateray(sp)” - kateray means bow. They taught us how to bow. They had us all lined up, giving us lessons - the correct way to bow. And so anytime a sentry went to any hut, you know what, I've bowed 10,000 times in four years. You didn't bow correctly, I'm gonna tell you, he took that butt of that rifle and if he felt like it the other end, and he was bashing guys back and forth all over the place with it. You soon damn well learned that the first guy who seen him hollered, “Kiotski”, didn't take you very long to learn.

Mr. Flegg describes being harassed by the guards in the barracks. The command 'Kiotski!' or 'Attention!' was quickly learned. A slow reaction or an improper bow usually resulted in being rifle butted.

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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