Force C -- The Canadian Army in Hong Kong 1941-45 (Col)
Force C — The Canadian Army’s Hong Kong Story 1941-1945, 2005 by Ellison, Ken. This exhibit by Ken Ellison, a study of mails to and from Canadian troops sent to protect Hong Kong during World War II, has been completely revised with additional material and scanned images. An important reference for any Military collector. BNAPS Exhibit Series #8. Colour version. Spiral bound, 127 pp.
The British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS) is pleased to announce the release of a new edition of Force C The Canadian Army’s Hong Kong Story 1941-1945. Ken Ellison’s study of a topic of Canadian Military Postal History of the Second World War, the exhibit was first shown at ESCPEX ’91, where it won a silver medal. After many changes, it was shown twice in 1998 – at Edmonton again, where it was awarded a vermeil medal, and at PIPEX (Pacific International Philatelic Exhibition) in Vernon, where it won a national-level vermeil.
In the fall of 1941 Great Britain requested, and Canada sent, two battalions – the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Royal Rifles of Canada – to bolster the defences of Hong Kong in view of Japan’s aggressive actions in the Far East. The focus of this book is a study through postal artifacts of the life of the force of 1,975 soldiers sent to Hong Kong. This ill-fated expedition, known as Force “C”, gathered at Valcartier Camp in Quebec and at Winnipeg in October 1941. The two battalions, including their headquarters staff and service units, departed from Vancouver on 27 October and arrived at Hong Kong on 16 November.
Japan attacked with overwhelming forces at many points, including Hong Kong, on 8 December 1941. By 25 December, the defenders of the Colony had to surrender, and those that survived were to spend 3 1/2 years as Prisoners of War. This terrible ordeal in the Japanese camps ended with Japan’s surrender on 14 August 1945. By 30 November 1945, the 1,416 surviving soldiers had been repatriated to Canada. This exhibit covers the period of the existence of Force ‘C’, from its creation in October 1941 to its return to Canada in the fall of 1945.
Force C The Canadian Army’s Hong Kong Story 1941-1945, is the eighth volume in the BNAPS Exhibit Book Series. The original 1998 edition has been revised, with new material included. In addition, the 2005 version was prepared and printed from computer scanned originals instead of from the master photocopies used to produce the earlier edition. Digital scanning provides better defined images and allows exhibits to be reproduced in colour or black and white.
Ken Ellison is the author/exhibitor of two more recent BNAPS books, British Columbia Agricultural Exhibitions (2003) and British Columbia Hotel Covers, 1880 to 1920 (2004). He has also written or co-edited several local histories, including Price Ellison – History Of An Okanagan Pioneer Family (1988), Valley Of Dreams, an illustrated history of Vernon, BC – 1992), Irrigation Is King! (the story of water/irrigation in Oyama, BC – 2000) and A Family Album (an Ellison family pictorial history – 2001).