Nephew of Oakwood Man dies while Jap Prisoner
Royal City Navy surgeon dead in Hong Kong. Untimely death ends career of unusual promise.
Mr. and Mrs. James K. Thorndyke of Oakwood have received word of the death of Mr. Thorndyke’s nephew, Surgeon Lieut. Cmdr. Donald Gunn, who died as a prisoner of war in a Japanese prison camp in Hong Kong.
Lieut.-Cmdr. Gunn was the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Hugh Gunn, 401 Fifth Street, New Westminister, BC.
His death is reported in an official dispatch from the British Admiralty to have occurred on September 8, 1944. Neither his parents in Vancouver nor his wife in England had heard directly from him since 1942. In January of 1944, a repatriated Vancouver citizen, Mrs. George Dodds, told his parents that when she left the colony he was in good health and was working in the Bowen Road Hospital in Hong Kong.
Lieut.-Cmdr. Gunn would have been 37 had he lived until last October and his death climaxed a career of unusual promise. He was chief of staff of the Royal Naval Hospital at Hong Kong when the city fell at Christmas, 1941.
He received his upper school education at the Duke of Connaught High School, New Westminster and later entered the University of British Columbia. After completing his pre-medical course there he graduated from McGill University in 1933 with the degree of MD, CM. He interned in Quebec City for six months and then went to England where his application was accepted for the Royal Navy. He was commissioned and took post-graduate courses in tropical diseases at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital, after which he was appointed to the flag ship of the 1st Mediterranean Fleet in which he served three years.
He married the former Miss Joan Balfour at Malta seven years ago, and saw his small daughter Elizabeth, now six, for the last time when she was two weeks old.