Approximately 9,000 Canadian soldiers, airmen, naval sailors and merchant seamen were captured by the enemy and held as prisoners of war (POWs) during the Second World War.
The first Canadian POW was Flying Officer Alfred B. Thompson of Penetanguishene, Ont., who had joined the RAF in 1937 and was captured on Sept. 9, 1939
1,946 who were captured during the raid on Dieppe in 1942 alone
The Great Escape
One of the most famous was Flying Officer Clark Wallace Floody of Chatham, Ont. who was a Spitfire pilot with No. 401 Sqdn.
A Canadian Flying Officer, Clarke Wallace Floody, was called the architect of the “Great Escape” – perhaps the most famous POW escape of the Second World War in which 76 Allied prisoners escaped Stalag Luft 3, a German POW camp in 1944. After he was shot down over France, Floody was captured and put in the camp. While imprisoned, he used his pre-war mining experience to help survey, design and engineer three tunnels, nicknamed Tom, Dick and Harry, which were built as possible escape routes. Harry— the tunnel the men eventually used for the escape—was more than 100 metres long and was 10 metres underground.
Extensive story found at Legion Magazine by Hugh Halliday
Philip Lagrandeur, We Flew, We Fell, We Lived
Hong Kong Prisoners of War
Oshawa’s veterans who were POW in Hong Kong included: Jack Arthur, Edward Bolton, Henry Galbraith, William Lee, Edward Lott, Jeffrey Marston, Fredrick Mason and Mathew Murray. A PDF resource kit is available created by History teacher, Flora Fungfrom Oshawa Central Collegiate Institute Oshawa, ON see resource http://www.hkvca.ca/teacherszone/index.htm
Important to note that two Canadian Nurses were POW in Hong Kong, these nursing sisters, Kay Christie of Toronto and May Waters of Winnipeg. they were the only Canadian Women as POW’s
Canadians in Buchenwald Concentration Camp
Twenty-Six Canadians among a total of 142 airmen which were British, American, Australian and New Zealand airmen, spent several months in Buchenwald Concentration Camp in eastern Germany in the summer and fall of 1944.
A rarely seen documentary from PBS on the conditions of the concentration camps. Nazi Germany killed 11 million people in the various camps.
Caution: Video is very graphic
No information on the cities of origin of these Canadians
A NFB movie by Director Michael Allder produced a movie detailing their trails and tribulations called ” The Lucky Ones” in 1994.
To read various POW stories visit
Interesting educational video produced by US Airforce teaching the soldiers how to escape
POW and board game Monopoly
According to the recent newsletter from the War Grave Photographic Project
http://www.twgpp.org, January 2009 newsletter
Only recently in 2007 this story has been declassified in the UK which reported that the Waddington company produced speciality pieces for the popular board game to include a silk map, various currencies and a compass. Apparently 1/3 one third of the 35,000 POW allies who escaped used this popular game