Language selection


The War Ends

Heroes Remember

The day that the war ended, I guess, prior to that day, they had dropped the atomic bomb and we didn't know but they didn't send us out to the mines. We all went to the factory, and I had my 40, 45, 50 men working at the mines. And the Jap honcho come to me about one o'clock in the afternoon, and he said, “Honcho, zumboo mai, yutsmai” (sp) Zumboo means all, yutsmai means rest. “Zumboo mai, yutsmai.” So he told me they were going to go to a meeting, so they went to a meeting and they're gone for about an hour, an hour and a half or something. When they came back, I watched all these Japanese come out of that conference room where they had that big meeting up at the factory offices and the reaction of every one of them was different. Some of them were kind of cheering, some of them were happy, some of them were crying. They were all different reaction to the different guys. And the guy in charge of me, he said to me, “Honcho take the men all back to the camp” and that was about three o'clock in the afternoon. And the next morning, we got up, and the camp commandant called everybody out, we were all up there, he gets up on this stand of his and says, “Senso Oare” (sp). Senso was the war, oare means finished, and he disappeared, we never saw that commandant again to this day.

Work stops at Oyama mine, and after a meting of his Japanese superiors, Mr. Flegg is instructed to return his men to camp. The next morning the camp commandant tells the POWs that the war is over.

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
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Machine Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: