This 2016 $20 pure silver coin commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong, and pays tribute to the bravery and resolve of these courageous Canadian soldiers, whose sacrifices remind us of the tragic cost of war. Outnumbered and less equipped than the enemy, the odds were not in the Canadians’ favour in December 1941 as they fought valiantly to defend the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong until the very end. The coin weighs one ounce of pure silver, and has a limited mintage of just 10,000 pieces. As a pure silver coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint, this item is HST/GST exempt.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Joel Kimmel captures the intensity of the fight and the sheer bravery of Canadian soldiers during the Battle of Hong Kong (December 8-25, 1941). Amidst the jungle conditions and rugged terrain of Hong Kong Island, two Canadian soldiers are among the Allied forces that formed a line of defence to counter the enemy’s advance toward the Wong Nai Chung Gap. The soldier in the foreground is dressed in the shorts and short sleeves of the Pacific uniform; rushing forward with resolve and courage, he makes his way past a concrete pillbox that bears the markings of heavy artillery fire. Behind him, a soldier moves up the sloped edge of a cliff overlooking the bay, and aims his Lee Enfield rifle with bayonet. The all-out enemy assault was backed by a strong air presence, as represented by the Mitsubishi Zero falling from the clouds towards the ground, with heavy smoke rising up from its propeller. The overwhelming nature of the Japanese attack is also conveyed through the ships that fill the bay between the island and the mountainous mainland in the background.