Philip Doddridge, World War II veteran from the Gaspé, dead at 100
Philip Doddridge, the last living Quebecer to have participated in the Battle of Hong Kong, which took place during the Second World War, died on October 5 at the age of 100.
Originally from New Richmond, Quebec, he enlisted at the age of 18, in 1940, in the Royal Rifles of Canada. The regiment suffered heavy losses during the battle which lasted from December 8 to 25, 1941.
Nearly 300 Canadian soldiers died in combat while another 264 were taken as prisoners of war and died in captivity.
The Gaspésien was imprisoned for 44 months.
« You avoid attracting attention as much as possible. If you did, you’d get beaten with a bamboo stick, » Doddridge said in Viveka Melki. The barriera documentary about prisoners of war and survivors of World War II.
« The realization that we were no longer prisoners of war is a feeling that cannot be felt by anyone who has not suffered deprivation, hunger, disease and humiliation for nearly four years. »
Doddridge weighed 106 pounds when he was released, Tom Eden, a military history buff, said in an interview with Radio-Canada. In the heart of the world.
After the war
When Doddridge returned to Canada, he enrolled in college, citing his fellow POWs as inspiration.
« We were a group that was hanging on, » he told CBC Break away on April 1, one day before his 100th birthday.
His teaching career and his work as a school principal anchored him in Gaspésie for the rest of his life, he says.
Eden said Doddridge once told her that « life is a team sport » and the veteran couldn’t have survived alone.
“He said you had to help others and let yourself be helped in life,” Eden recalls. « He was a man loved by all, a man of compassion and someone who spent his life serving others, both in the military and in the education system. »
The veteran’s funeral was held last Friday at St. Andrew’s United Church in New Richmond.