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

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.

Commemorative Feature

View a map showing all commemorative features on Google Earth (a Hope Hinchey project).

Site Description Location Province Map Reference Lat/Long Date
Blanchard LakeMunroe Lake, Manitoba, east ofManitoba64 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 Death Ref
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

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.


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.

General Comments

No comments found.

End of Report.

Report generated: 25 Mar 2023.

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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.
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