Individual Report: H77586 Robert BLANCHARD

1st Bn The Winnipeg Grenadiers

Red River Métis/Anishinaabe grandfather from Sagkeeng First Nation, MB

General Information

Rank: First Name: Second Name:
Private Robert
From: Enlistment Region: Date of Birth (y-m-d):
Winnipeg MB Manitoba 1914-06-13
Appointment: Company: Platoon:
A 7 Plt

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

Killed in action at Bennet's Hill Shelter. 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.

Commemorative Feature

A map detailing the location of this feature can be found in this soldier's vault. (See Vault explanation below in the Links and Other Resources block) .

Site Description Location Province Map Reference Lat/Long Date
Blanchard Lakeeast of Munroe Lake, ManitobaManitoba64 O/0159 08' 45"; 98 12' 37"1975

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
1941-12-23Killed In Action
Cemetery LocationCemeteryGrave NumberGravestone Marker
Cape Collinson Road Chai Wan Hong Kong ChinaSai Wan War CemeteryVIII. A. 12.NA

Gravestone Image

Click for larger view

Obituary / Life Story

My great uncle’s 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 was lucky to be able to access his 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 was a bit 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 by learning and practicing some of the traditional Indigenous ways of living, and have a connection to both the Métis Nation and Sagkeeng First Nation.

It is important for me to honour my great-uncle’s legacy as an Indigenous veteran, and I encourage everyone to learn more about Indigenous veterans and to do what they can to advance reconciliation in Canada.

Updated by Julie Carver June 2023

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

No comments found.

End of Report.

Report generated: 12 Jul 2024.

Back to 'C' Force Home Page

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.