[Above Video] This is the true story of former Gladstone resident, John “Jack” Kitteringham. He was a typical young man. He didn’t have a lot of experience in the world. However, he wanted to do his duty for his country. With that in mind he joined the army and was sent to Hong Kong with very little combat training. No one expected the Japanese to attack. But in December 1941, they did. With overwhelming force.
Here we see the transformation from naive young man to a man broken by the horrors of war. It ends with a reflection that relates to us all.
This video does use some stock footage. However, wherever possible it uses the actual words of Jack and his father, Alfred. It also uses actual newsreel footage of them arriving in Hong Kong…and the battle that followed.
*Interesting note. The ferry shown in the Kowloon sequence is very likely the one that Jack and his unit actually escaped on.
The Japanese suffered about 800 casualties in the Battle for Wong Chung Gap.
After the battle the Japanese commander was forced to apologize to his superiors for taking so long to defeat so few.
Kitteringham Lake in Manitoba is named after Jack.
In 2011 Japan apologized to some surviving veterans and to Canada for their treatment in the P.O.W. camps.
Jack Kitteringham Memorial Page.
Detailed Information on the Battle for Hong Kong.
The Japanese Apology to Canada.
Below. Original Documents Related to John “Jack” Kitteringham.
This video was filmed on location in Hong Kong, 1941 and in front of a green screen in Gladstone, Manitoba during 2020.
Original Documents from the Gladstone & District Museum.
Written & Performed by Kelvin Bueckert.
Gladstone Footage Was Filmed and Directed by George Constant.
Postproduction by Kelvin Bueckert.