Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: March 10th and March 29th, 1945

March 10th, 1945—Went to Chinese Hospital and rechecked records and found the name of ARTURO SALVADOR, boy, age 14 yrs., admitted at 12:00 noon, Feb. 15, residence #1235 Leveriza St, Malate (the correct address of the Rice family house that was set fire by the Japanese on February 9th); died afternoon of Feb. 15, 1945. Body turned over, with nine others who died same day, to Mr. Ejercito of the Bureau of Health on Feb. 16. THIS IS NO DOUBT ARTHUR, who was delirious and gave his mother’s family name, as he had been using that in the few months previous, or maybe had a paper showing that name. Took the boys (Charlie and Henry, ages 18 and 17 roughly) to the hospital and we all agreed that this was ARTHUR.

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I went to the Bureau of Health to see Mr. Ejercito who was very helpful, found that the bodies of the persons who died on the 15 of Feb were buried in a common grave, dug by army bulldozers in the Cemetery del Norte. Went to see Mr. Reyes, Superintendent of the Cemetery; no record of names, so many hundreds being brought in by truckloads and buried three or four deep in the long trenches dug by the bulldozers.

Special cemetery Policeman Guillermo Legacion and Capataz Anastacio Liwanag, both long time employees and knowing about Cemetery conditions, they showed me the trench where people were buried on the 16th of Feb, it is the north end of trench on left side of road as you go northeast on this branch off the main drive. The last twenty feet of this trench is said to contain the bodies brought in on the 16th. Later some bodies from our Camp were put in on top of them. The Capataz promised to do what he could to care for that part of the grave where he said he is sure Arthur is buried. Mr. Fargas of the Army Morgue gave me a regulation wooden cross which I put at the end of the trench.

March 29, 1945—The cross I put at the trench grave has painted on it the following:

BURIED HERE WITH OTHERS MURDERED BY JAPANESE
****ARTHUR RICE****

It is just back of an Acacia tree and some well marked private graves; a grave a few feet to the north is marked by a monument with the name CATALINA VARGAS, which should be a permanent mark.

Between the Acacia tree and the road is another trench where many are buried. The Capataz estimates that about three hundred are buried in the same trench with Arthur.

What follows is the rest of the page the March 29th entry is typed on:

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I hope you children never forget Arthur, who was so dear to us all, and so brave even when dying. And never forget that the Japanese killed him, never forgive them and as long as you live never pass up a chance to crush the Japanese race. (My grandfather was a hard man.)

If ever you return to Manila, do what is possible to see that this lonely trench is cared for.


My grandfather subsequently had a more elegant tombstone built, presumably on the site he describes above. Below are two photos of Arthur’s tombstone. The letters on the tombstone are barely legible due to the small size and fuzziness of the photos, but I was able figure it out:

ARTHUR C. RICE
✞ FEB 15, 1945
AGE 14 YRS.
KILLED BY JAPANESE

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Carl E. Rice WW2 Memoirs: March 2nd to March 9, 1945

March 1st, Monday (repeated here from previous post for continuity)—Went to Far Eastern University to report regarding the Civil Service employees of the Quartermaster Department, could find no one who knew what to do about us.

March 2 to 9, 1945—Some were sent to U.S.A. as repatriates; many are now applying to go as their homes are burned and business or occupation no longer can operate and for a long time will be no opportunity here to live as before the war; many have no funds and nothing to borrow on; so there seems to be no way except to go back; of course some of the internees don’t belong here, having been transients caught here by the war; these people naturally want to get back as soon as possible, but the real old time residents would rather stay if conditions were not  so impossible; this the permanent home of most of us and most of those going back intend to return here as soon as conditions permit. (Indeed, my grandfather himself was to do exactly this two years later.) I put my name on the list but do not intend to go soon but may send the boys back to schools, they have missed three years.

Mary is in the hospital with asthma (she suffered from this her whole and died young at 55 twenty years later; also her given name was Maria but he called her Mary for short) and general poor physical condition due to hardships suffered during the battle of Manila. (Remember, in addition her third child Arthur being currently missing after being wounded and taken to an unknown hospital during the battle, she lost her mom—my great-grandmother—during the same fighting and they had to leave her body where it lay.) 

Am looking for Arthur and still hope to hear of him in some hospital but am afraid he is dead; he surely would have got word to me somehow if alive.

Feature pic: Raon Street, Manila, April 28, 1945