Individual Report: E30723 Joseph HARDY

1st Bn The Royal Rifles of Canada


General Information

Rank: First Name: Second Name:
Rifleman Joseph Ralston
From: Enlistment Region: Date of Birth (y-m-d):
New Richmond QC Eastern Quebec 1923-07-03
Appointment: Company: Platoon:

Transportation - Home Base to Hong Kong

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.


Battle Information

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).

Wounded Information

No wounds recorded.

Hospital Information

No record of hospital visits found.

POW Camps

Camp ID Camp Name Location Company Type of Work Reference Arrival Date Departure Date
HK-SM-01StanleyFort Stanley, Hong Kong Island20, 31, 33Capture 41 Dec 30
HK-NP-01North PointNorth Point, Hong Kong Island41 Dec 3042 Sep 26
HK-SA-02ShamshuipoKowloon, Hong Kong42 Sep 2643 Jan 19
JP-To-3DTsurumiYokohama-shi, Tsurumi-ku, Suyehiro-cho, 1-chome, JapanNippon Steel Tube - Tsurumi ShipyardsVariety of jobs related to ship building943 Jan 19N/A

Transport to Japan

Draft Number Name of Ship Departure Date Arrival Date Arrival Port Comments Reference
XD3ATatuta Maru43 Jan 19, left Shamsuipo Camp, 0500 hrs; left Hong Kong 1300hrs43 Jan 22, 0400 hrsNagasaki, JapanBoarded train, arrived in Tokyo on 43 Jan 24 at 0700 hrs, boarded electric train for 10 mile ride to campTony Banham

Transportation: SE Asia to Home

No related information found. Please submit documents to us using the contact link at the top of this page.

Post-war Photo

Click for larger view

Other Military Service

No related information found. Please submit documents to us using the contact link at the top of this page.

Death and Cemetery Information

Date of Death (y-m-d) Cause of Death Death Class Death Ref
1994-04-08Post War
Cemetery LocationCemeteryGrave NumberGravestone Marker
Brockville Ontario Canada

Gravestone Image

No related information found. Please submit documents to us using the contact link at the top of this page.

Obituary / Life Story

Joseph Ralston Hardy died on April 8, 1994. He was my boyhood chum, schoolmate, and comrade-in-arms.

I can't remember when we first met. We were probably just out of diapers. We lived about a quarter of a mile apart, he at the end of a long lane and I at the other. In our childhood days, there were few artificial amusements to be had, so we had to invent our own. We did what I suppose most kids did in those days.

We rolled hoops with a stick, we made carts out of whatever materials could be found, we swam in the waters of the Baie des Chaleurs, we made tree houses, we carved wooden soldiers out of cedar shingles, coloured them blue and red with wax crayons, and killed each other's armies with long-range artillery, powered by rubber bands.

At school we got the strap for calling the teacher a screech-owl when we thought she couldn't hear us. We listened enchanted to ghost stories at a neighbour's house and then were too scared to go home in the dark.

We played shinny in the backyard rink, often as not with a wooden puck, and sometimes with a frozen horse-ball.

When we grew a little older we played a more organized type of hockey, he in the goal and I somewhere out front. From the first he was a fearless goalie, and after the war he graduated to the senior team where he proved his ability again and again.

When the war came along we were both a little young, but the end of 1940 saw us both in the Royal Rifles of Canada.

Ralston spent much of his captivity working in the dockyards in Japan, and after the war he returned home, scarred like all of us by the years of deprivation.

Each of us dies a little with the passing of one of our Hong Kong buddies, and for Ralston the sentiment for me was keenly felt.

Philip Doddridge -- http://www.hkvca.ca/memoriesuninvited Chapter-2014.htm

Links and Other Resources

There may be more information on this individual available elsewhere on our web sites - please use the search tool found in the upper right corner of this page to view sources.

Facebook has proven to be a valuable resource in the documentation of 'C' Force members. The following link will take you to any available search results for this soldier based on his regimental number. Note: results may be contained within another related record. Facebook Search Results

Related documentation for information published in this report, such as birth information, discharge papers, press clippings and census documents may be available via shared resources in our HKVCA Vault. It is organized with folders named using regimental numbers. Use the first letter of the individual's service number to choose the correct folder, then scroll to the specific sub-folder displaying the service number of your interest.

General Comments

Click for larger view

Picture is of Joseph Hardy and Roger Cyr 1941 Richmond Quebec



End of Report.

Report generated: 25 Feb 2024.


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Additional Notes

(These will not be visible on the printed copy)

  1. Service numbers for officers are locally generated for reporting only. During World War II officers were not allocated service numbers until 1945.
  2. 'C' Force soldiers who died overseas are memorialized in the Books of Remembrance and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial, both sponsored by Veterans Affairs Canada. Please use the search utility at VAC to assist you.
  3. Some birthdates and deathdates display as follows: 1918-00-00. In general, this indicates that we know the year but not the month or day.
  4. Our POW camp links along with our References link (near the bottom of the 'C' Force home page) are designed to give you a starting point for your research. There were many camps with many name changes. The best resource for all POW camps in Japan is the Roger Mansell Center for Research site.
  5. In most cases the rank displayed was the rank held before hostilities. Some veterans were promoted at some point prior to eventual post-war release from the army back in Canada. When notified of these changes we'll update the individual's record.
  6. Images displayed on the web page are small, but in many cases the actual image is larger. Hover over any image and you will see a popup if a larger version is available. You can also right-click on some images and select the option to view the image separately. Not all images have larger versions. Contact us to confirm whether a large copy of an image in which you are interested exists.
  7. In some cases the References displayed as part of this report generate questions because there is no indication of their meaning. They were inherited with the original database, and currently we do not know what the source is. We hope to solve this problem in future.
  8. We have done our best to avoid errors and omissions, but if you find any issues with this report, either in accuracy, completeness or layout, please contact us using the link at the top of this page.
  9. Photos are welcome! If a photo exists for a 'C' Force member that we have not included, or if you have a higher quality copy, please let us know by using the Contact Us link at the top of this page. We will then reply, providing instructions on submitting it.