Award published with no citation in Gazette.

HARDY, Ralph James, Sergeant (538807) - Distinguished Conduct Medal awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 October 1946, “in recognition of gallant and distinguished service rendered whilst a prisoner of war in Japanese hands.” Recommendation in Air 2/8777. Submitted by Lieutenant Colonel John H. Price, Royal Rifles of Canada; certified true copy, sgd. H.E. Sullivan Wing/Cdr.)

1. For devotion to duty and conspicuous bravery whilst on special service during his period of captivity as a Prisoner of War in Hong Kong in the hands of the Japanese.

2. About the middle of October 1942, contact was established between Officers at Sham Shui Po camp and British Intelligence Officers at Waichow through the medium of Chinese overseers at the Kaitak Air Port and Chungking agents. This N.C.O. very bravely volunteered to accompany the working party each day to act as both receiver and sender of these important messages. He displayed great initiative and daring in carrying this out under the eyes of the Japanese guard with certain knowledge that the slightest mistake would involve in the most severe form of punishment, if not in the loss of his life. These activities were successfully carried out by him until the end of the year when working parties ceased and a new type of contact established through Chinese drivers of the ration lorries in which he also played an important part. The value of this work to the camp cannot be over emphasized involving as it did a supply of vital necessities as well as the transmitting of constant information regarding camp conditions to the outside.

3. On July 1st, 1943, this N.C.O. was taken out of camp and conducted to the Headquarters of the Japanese Gendarmerie where he was charged with communication with the enemy. He was subjected to the most brutal forms of torture including the Japanese “Water Torture” to compel him to disclose the names of officers associated with these activities and this he resolutely refused to do. After several hours of torture, he was removed to Stanley Prison “on remand” to await a Court Martial on a charge of espionage. The Court sat on December 1st, and after the statements were read, the prosecutor demanded the death penalty but the court awarded a sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.

4. He served his imprisonment under very unfavourable conditions in Stanley prison until July 22nd, 1945, when he was sent to the Japanese Military prison in Canton where he remained until August 21st when he returned to Hong Kong and freed. During his imprisonment, he came in contact with Major Boxer, Lincolnshire Regiment, a fellow prisoner who has submitted his own statement.

5. The resolute courage of this N.C.O. in spite of undesirable suffering and his devotion to duty provide an example in the highest tradition of the Service. It is recommended this N.C.O. be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.