Individual Report: H6618 George BELCOURT

1st Bn The Winnipeg Grenadiers

Red River Métis

General Information

Rank: First Name: Second Name:
Private George
From: Enlistment Region: Date of Birth (y-m-d):
Strasbourg SK Manitoba 1918-01-04
Appointment: Company: Platoon:
C

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

Name of hospital Date of admission Date of discharge Comments Reference
HK-BMH08/21/1942N/A118

POW Camps

Camp ID Camp Name Location Company Type of Work Reference Arrive Depart
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 19N/A

Transport to Japan

Draft Number Name of Ship Departure Date Arrival Date Arrival Port Comments Reference
XD3ATatsuta 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 information found.

Post-war Photo

Click for larger view

Death and Cemetery Information

Date of Death (y-m-d) Cause of Death Death Class Death Ref
2001-12-28Post War
Cemetery LocationCemeteryGrave NumberGravestone Marker
Strasbourg Saskatchewan CanadaCrescent Road Cemetery

Gravestone Image

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Obituary / Life Story

Remembering George Belcourt [prepared by his family]

George Belcourt, son of Antoine and Victoire Belcourt, was born January 4, 1918 in Manitoba on his parents farm near Togo, Saskatchewan. They later moved to St. Eustache, Manitoba where George still has relatives. He had five brothers and five sisters.

In September 1939 George joined the army with the Winnipeg Grenadiers, where he took his basic training. In 1940 he was sent to Jamaica and served there for sixteen months. After a brief return to Canada, he was transferred to Hong Kong where he was taken prisoner on Christmas Day 1941. He was prisoner of war for 3 years, 7 months and 21 days, of which two years of this time was spent in Japan.

After being released August 15, 945, he moved where his wife Kaye (Kathleen, daughter of Alex and Mary) and their son Dale were residing.

George and Kaye met in Winnipeg in 1940 and were married on April 17th of the same year. In 1946, they purchased their first farm land. They lived in an old two room homestead the hill, with an awesome view, where sometimes outdoor weather was experienced indoors. Pulling and hammering nails became an all-day pastime as they started reconstructing the buildings.

As the family grew an addition to the house had to be built. In 1956, George built five rooms onto the existing four room home built in 1947.

Over the years George and Kaye expanded their mixed farming operation to six quarters of land. Besides his farming practices, George for a number of years did such things as welding and clearing bush, both on his own farm, as well as for others in the community.

In 1975, George and Kaye purchased a lot in Strasbourg and constructed a new home where they retired.

George was active with the Royal Canadian Legion, spending time renovating and maintaining the Memorial Hall. George was a member of the Hong Kong Veterans Association and seldom missed a convention.

Through the years George had many favorite pastimes: welding, yard work, pool, cards, travelling, photography, and especially using the video camera and storytelling to family and friends.

George was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He will be sadly missed by numerous family and friends. Predeceased by one son Lorne, on granddaughter Yvette, one daughter-in-law Ann and all his siblings. He leaves to mourn Kaye, his loving wife of 61 years; four sons Dale, Derry (Joan), Lane, and Brett (Anita); five daughters Lona (Lawrence) Bolding, Avis (Richard) Horning, Alva (Mike) Shumate, Bonnie (Peter) Frostad, and Eunice Kobylansky (John Kleinsasser); 23 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and friends. We give thanks for the life of George Belcourt.

Links

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General Comments

No comments found.


End of Report.

Report generated: 30 Sep 2022.


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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 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. Related documentation for information published in this report may be available. Researchers have added significant content on some 'C' Force members in the public group "Hong Kong Veterans Tribute" on Facebook, which you can search by using the member's service number.
  8. Our librarians have collected thousands of documents from Facebook and other resources. When requested, we will provide any additional information we have on an individual in the form of a zip (compressed) file and make it accessible from the Individual Report. Use the Contact Us form to request an offline search.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.