About the author: Raymond Leyerly (July 12, 1881 — February 12, 1945). His grand-nephew, Lou Gopal, wrote the following information published in the Raymond Leyerly section of Victims of Circumstance: Santo Tomas Inernment Camp:
Raymond was retired from the Marines after the Spanish American war and settled in Manila and got married. He became Manila’s Police Chief prior to the Philippines becoming a Commonwealth. At that time, they started moving Filipinos into larger roles of responsibility and he lost his job. He then went to work at the Cavite Naval Yards as a civilian working for the U.S. Navy. When war broke and the Japs required every U.S. citizen to register, he declared his loyalty to America even though his family said they would hide him. When he went to Santo Tomas, his family wanted to be interned with him but the Japanese said no….just him. His wife, Adelaida [Zaragoza] and two daughters, Rosario and Elvira (who now are living in the Bay Area) were able to visit and bring him food from Jan 42 to spring of 1944 when things started going very bad for the internees. After that he would somehow pass word out to his family that he would be at a certain window at a certain time and he and his family could only wave to each other. They never saw him until Liberation. He was lying in a hospital bed when his two daughters came looking. They actually passed right by him but didn’t recognize him because he had lost so much weight. He was over two hundred pounds when he went in – he had lost 90lbs. and died of malnutrition on February 12th, 1945.
He died in the Quezon Institute, Quezon City, aged 63. Married to Adelaida (“Lala”) Leyerly-Zaragoza. Two children, Elvira (nicknamed “Butch”) and Rosario (nicknamed “Charito”).
About the diary: The diary was taken from a typewritten manuscript with the title page, Notes of Raymond Leyerly (7-12-1882 – 2-13-45) while interned by the Japanese at Sto. Tomas University (Concentration Camp) from January 5, 1942 up to February 3, 1945.The last entry is a postscript that reads as follows:
NOTE: After searches and inquiries we –Mama, Charito and Butch– found him at the Quezon Institute (Hospital), under U.S. Forces, late afternoon of February 12, 1945, emaciated and confined in bed, with plasma being fed into him. No words can describe our reunion. We did not want to leave him, but were told that only one of us could stay at a time. Charito stayed that night. Around midnight, he passed away. Cause of death in the Certificate stated “Malnutrition.”
The diary was previously published in the Victims of Circumstance website, with information provided by Lou Gopal.
The identification of many names in the diary was made possible to sites such as Philippine Internment.