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.
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
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:
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