Individual Report: H6352 George STODGELL

1st Bn The Winnipeg Grenadiers

Red River Métis

General Information

Rank: First Name: Second Name:
Private George Roy
From: Enlistment Region: Date of Birth (y-m-d):
Fisher Branch MB Manitoba 1918-03-19
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-NP-01North PointNorth Point, Hong Kong Island41 Dec 2041 Dec 22
HK-AS-01Argyle StreetKowloon, Hong Kong41 Dec 22Dec 26
HK-SA-01ShamshuipoKowloon, Hong KongCapture42 Jan 22
HK-NP-02North PointNorth Point, Hong Kong Island3342 Jan 2242 Sep 26
HK-SA-02ShamshuipoKowloon, Hong Kong42 Sep 26 43 Jan 19
JP-To-3DTsurumiYokohama-shi, Tsurumi-ku, Suyehiro-cho, 1-chome, JapanNippon Steel Tube - Tsurumi ShipyardsVariety of jobs related to ship building943 Jan 1945 May 13
JP-Se-1B YumotoFukushima-ken, Iwaki-gun, Yumoto-cho, Mizunoya, JapanJoban Coal Mining Company13445 May 1345 Sep 15

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

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Post-war Photo

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Other Military Service

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Death and Cemetery Information

Date of Death (y-m-d) Cause of Death Death Class Death Ref
1994-03-29Post War
Cemetery LocationCemeteryGrave NumberGravestone Marker
Woodlands Manitoba CanadaFisherton Cemetery50-22EYes

Gravestone Image

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Obituary / Life Story

Suddenly on Tuesday, March 29, 1994 at River East Nursing Home, Winnipeg, Man, George Roy Stodgell, aged 76 years, beloved husband of Iva of Oak Park Lodge, Woodlands, Man.

Born on March 19, 1918 at Fisherton, Man., Roy served with the Winnipeg Grenadiers between September 1939 and March 1945. He served in Jamaica and was a prisoner of war for nearly four years in Hong Kong. After discharge Roy was employed by International Laboratories for 28 1/2 a years. He also worked for Fraser Construction, Winnipeg, for 15 years and retired at age 69.

Roy is survived by his wife Iva; daughter Rhea (Ernest) Zitaruk; son Ronald (Patricia) Stodgell of Winnipeg; daughter Iris (Guy) Jodoin of Marquette, Man.; grandchildren Russ and Lana Zitaruk of Edmonton, Christopher Stodgell, Cary Ryan, Renee Jodoin; sister Freida (Henry) Prystenski of Winnipeg; brother Norman (Kay) of Fisherton; brother Loyd (Margaret) of Edmonton; and numerous nieces and nephews. Predeceased by brother Victor, and brothers Stan, Garnet and Cyril in the Second World War. Roy was a member of the Hong Kong Veteran's Association and a life member of the Royal Canadian Legion Hodgson Branch #158.

Thanks to the staff of the Stonewall Hospital and the staff of River East Nursing Home for their care and understanding.

Viewing will be held on Friday, April 1, between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at Fisher Funeral Home, Fisher Branch, Man. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 2 at 2:00 p.m., also at the funeral Home, with Rev. Godfrey Mawijje and Rev. Wesley Barrett officiating. Interment will follow at the Fisherton Community Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Roy's memory to the Hodgson Legion Branch #158, the Fisherton Cemetery, or to any charity of your choice. Arrangements in care of Fisher Funeral Home, 1-372-6271 Fisher Branch.

Winnipeg Free Press, March 31, 1994


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General Comments

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Mary Broadfoot Stodgell 7 Nov 1963 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Honouring a war mother - Front page of Winnipeg Free Press

Roy, a Stodgell brother, enlisted on September 14, 1939 in the Winnipeg Grenadiers. He trained at Minto Armouries and Fort Osborne Barracks until May 19, 1940 when he went to Bermuda on the "Lady Drake"; he spent four and a half months in Bermuda and after that he went to Jamaica for thirteen to fourteen months. He returned to Canada in October 1941. He left for Hong Kong five weeks later, going by train, then by ship, a trip which took 21 days from Vancouver to Hong Kong.

They were there about three-four weeks when the fighting started. He was taken prisoner on December 19, 1941 and spent some time in North Point Camp, then 'Sham Shoo Poo' Camp. The first year after being taken prisoner, Roy worked in the airport in China. Their food was mostly vegetables and rice but there was never enough. In 1943, he was shipped from China to Japan by freighter. They were loaded by alphabetical order. All names before 's' were put in the hold and they were packed so the rest stayed on top of the deck. The toilets and latrines in the hold were all plugged. The prisoners on the top deck were not treated too badly, but the ones in the hold had their food lowered down in tubs by a rope. The cooks knew the prisoners were going to Japan, so they baked two thousand buns but those in the hold never got any. They were four and a half days going to Japan.

The first year in Japan they got "red barley" boiled, three times a day. They got all they could eat but it burned their stomachs out. They also got three sardines twice a week. In 1944, their main food was boiled potato and carrot "tops". The Japanese kept the potato and carrot roots for themselves.

In Japan they worked in shipyards. When they finished work at night they would try to sleep, but between picking lice and bugs off themselves they got little rest.

Whenever there was an air raid they killed cats, horses or dogs. The Japanese would bring them to the prisoners to cook for themselves.

Whenever they moved to a different camp they would walk because there was no other transportation. In 1945, they were put to work in the coal mines. Their meals there were one cup of rice three times a day. It was never enough. In Japan, their clothing was "gunny sack" pants and shirt and sandals. The sacking itched like crazy.

In the mines it was so hot all they wore was a G-string and sandals. The Japanese girls that worked there too wore the same dress.

The war was over for seven days before the prisoners were told.

The Americans started to drop food by air the second week after, plus "three forty-five gallon drums of French safes" but that did not help very much because the prisoners' health was not very good. After that the Japanese treated them pretty good.

They stayed about three weeks after the war ended, then started for home. They travelled to Guam by boat, stayed one week there, then took a plane to an American base where they stayed four days. Next was on to San Francisco and from there by train to Vancouver for three days, after which they left by train for Winnipeg, arriving there on September 20, 1945. Roy was discharged March 1946.

Roy received the following medals: 1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. Defence Medal and War Medal 1939-1945.

The Royal Canadian Legion Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario Command Vol. 12 pg 201

End of Report.

Report generated: 30 Nov 2023.

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Additional Notes

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  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 Second World War Book 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. →Important: Related documentation for information published in this report may be available via shared resources in our Vault on Google Docs by following this link. Use the first letter of the individual's service number to choose the correct folder, then scroll to the specific service number of your interest.
  8. 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.
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