Cargo of captured convoy provided carbo ...
cut off, and a barbed wire fence was
the Japanese left, found remains in
Last week, as we watched R.K.
set up ten feet inside the wall to
the waste that they took back to
Storey, his wife Rachel, and child-
ensure even further isolation from
ren David and Martha, interned at
the outside world.
Once David came home with a
Santo Tomas by the Japanese, we
Internees were compelled to
six-inch square of hide from a
observed that for the Storeys and the
plant gardens, using tools no better slaughtered water buffalo. The Japa-
other 3,800- plus prisoners, food was
suited than large hoes to break the nese had taken all the meat, leaving
a problem from the start.
soil. Worse still, many of the fruits only hide and entrails.
According to Mr. Storey’s
of those gardens were diverted to
“Dad singed the hair off and
account in “The Storeys’ Own
the soldiers themselves. The bana- boiled, and boiled, and boiled it, and
Story,” the Japanese Provided noth-
nas raised in the camp were particu-
we each had a little piece to chew
ing for Santo Tomas Internment
larly popular, although the army did on. It was like trying to eat your
Camp (STIC) for the first six
, return some for the sick.
shoe, but at least it was something
months. Food came from Red Cross
On one occasion, a small convoy to satisfy our hunger,” she says.
supplies left over when the U.S. mil-
sending gifts of food - native of Red Cross ships bound for China
The prisoners were responsible
itary forces surrendered.
fruits, sometimes a
icken - wa
s captured, an
go of f-
for their own food preparation; the
Beds and personal effects were
for which they were very thankful.
loaded. Much of the cargo was
Japanese at the camp were there as
brought in by Filipino friends of
But even with local help, the made up of cracked wheat in burlap guards. But their waste was fair
those whose homes had been in
Internee Committee finally told the bags.
game to the innovative captives.
Japanese authorities that they would
As Martha Points out, it doesn’t
For instance, after the Japanese
As the Red Cross supplies were
have to take over and buy the food take long, in a tropical climate, for had taken the oil from soybeans,
exhausted, some People who had
and necessary su
th e camp. wheat in burlap bags to become
the prisoners made gruel from the
funds could make contacts with
The Japanese responded with an infested with worms. It became the remains.
people on the outside to deliver food
allowance of 35 cents a day, Per per- responsibility of women with child-
Gruel, in fact, was a staple, often
to them. at the gate. The Storeys
son. After light bills, water bills and ren under 12 to pick worms out of served three times a day. Sometimes
were not among those, for their
camp incidentals were paid, a bal- the wheat, until someone realized the watery soup was made from
funds were beyond reach in the
ance of 20 cents was left for food.
that there was some protein value to talinum, a green grown in the camp
now-closed American bank.
On February 1, 1944, with the the worms.
garden. At other times, it was made
With God’s intervention, Mr.
military assuming directorship of
Some internees opted to remove with cracked wheat or rice, or a
Storey believed, a local Filipino
the camp f
rom the diplomatic corps, the new source of protein from their combination of what was available.
family, total strangers, somehow
things became even worse. The rations, while others, Martha
Although many of the missionar-
obtained their names and began
privilege of buying extra food was included, opted to eat it all.
ies in camp united to set up reli-
Pigs were raised in the camp, and gious services, those services even-
slaughtered by the Japanese for their tually succumbed to the effects of
own use. Martha recalls, “Kids who malnutrition on the potential wor-
were brave enough to go over after shippers.
This photograph of Martha and David Storey was taken by the Japanese
while the Storeys were prisoners at Santo Tomas Internment Camp. Their
parents, R. K. and Rachel Storey, were never told why the picture was made,
but it is the sole photo Martha has from her early childhoad.
For the last year, inmates were so lid, the necessary lancing had to be
poorly nourished that they spent all done without anesthetic - a trau-
their time not spent in the food line, matic experience.
resting on their beds. They simply
Martha also recalls the relentless
didn’t have enough energy to do
hunger that dogged them most of
that final year. She remembers wak-
It was during this third year that ing up crying one night, and asking
an event occurred that implanted her mother, “Why don’t you love
one of Martha’s most vivid memo- me?”
ries of Santa Tomas.
To her mother’s anguished ques-
The only U.S. Army personnel in tion, “What makes you think I don’t
camp were doctors and nurses who love you?” she responded, “If you
had been brought in after the fall of loved me, you would feed me.”
Corregidor. They cared for the
Even today, Martha says, “I
internees’ needs with very meager don’t think I will ever get over hun-
supplies and equipment.
Thus it was that, when the four-
Next week: Liberation did not
year-old had a boil form on her eye- bring immediate panacea.