Métis/Anishinaabe father from Sagkeeng First Nation, MB
|Rank:||First Name:||Second Name:|
|From:||Enlistment Region:||Date of Birth (y-m-d):|
Members of 'C' Force from the East travelled across Canada by CNR troop train, picking up reinforcements enroute. Stops included Valcartier, Montreal, Ottawa, Armstrong ON, Capreol ON, Winnipeg, Melville SK, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper, and Vancouver, arriving in Vancouver on Oct 27 at 0800 hrs.
The Winnipeg Grenadiers and the local soldiers that were with Brigade Headquarters from Winnipeg to BC travelled on a CPR train to Vancouver.
All members embarked from Vancouver on the ships AWATEA and PRINCE ROBERT. AWATEA was a New Zealand Liner and the PRINCE ROBERT was a converted cruiser. "C" Company of the Rifles was assigned to the PRINCE ROBERT, everyone else boarded the AWATEA. The ships sailed from Vancouver on Oct 27th and arrived in Hong Kong on November 16th, having made brief stops enroute at Honolulu and Manila.
Equipment earmarked for 'C' Force use was loaded on the ship DON JOSE, but would never reach Hong Kong as it was rerouted to Manila when hostilities commenced.
On arrival, all troops were quartered at Nanking Barracks, Sham Shui Po Camp, in Kowloon.
We do not have specific battle information for this soldier in our online database. For a detailed description of the battle from a Canadian perspective, visit Canadian Participation in the Defense of Hong Kong (published by the Historical Section, Canadian Military Headquarters).
View a map showing all commemorative features on Google Earth (a Hope Hinchey project).
|Site Description||Location||Province||Map Reference||Lat/Long||Date|
|Blanchard Lake||Munroe Lake, Manitoba, east of||Manitoba||64 O/01||59 08' 45"; 98 12' 37"||1975|
|Date of Death (y-m-d)||Cause of Death||Death Class||Death Ref|
|1941-12-23||Killed In Action|
|Cemetery Location||Cemetery||Grave Number||Gravestone Marker|
|Cape Collinson Road Chai Wan Hong Kong China||Sai Wan War Cemetery||VIII. A. 12.||NA|
Sent to Pamela Heinrichs by Julie Carver May 2022
Thank you to the HKVCA for giving me the opportunity to tell my great uncle’s story. His name was Robert Blanchard and he was 27 years old when he was killed in action on December 23, 1941 during the Battle of Hong Kong. His mother was Métis (Red River) and Anishinaabe (Sagkeeng First Nation).
I didn’t grow up around my Indigenous side but I undertook an extensive ancestry search in the summer of 2021 to confirm what I had been told, and that is when I found out about my great-uncle’s death in WWII. I was lucky to be able to access his 121-page military file, which gave me a lot of insight during that time of his life. His mother was unaware that he had left for Hong Kong until she received a letter from him on his way there. His death wasn’t confirmed to her until a year after he had been killed, and his exact date of death was confirmed to her 4 years later. I felt a deep connection reading through his file, and I must admit that I was emotional thinking about him and his life. I can’t even begin to imagine what that time was like for them, along with all the other soldiers and their families.
I’ve been on a reconnecting journey for the last couple of years by learning and practicing the traditional Indigenous ways of living. During that time, I’ve also been able to obtain my Métis citizenship as well as connect with newly found relatives from Sagkeeng First Nation.It is important for me to honour my great-uncle’s legacy as an Indigenous veteran. I’m on this amazing journey of reconnecting with my Métis and Anishinaabe roots thanks to him and all of my other Indigenous ancestors. I encourage everyone to learn more about Indigenous veterans and to do what they can to advance reconciliation in Canada.
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End of Report.
Report generated: 04 Jul 2022.
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