The original diary is in my possession. I am Edward R. Terry, son of Capt. Edward L. Terry. I am “Teddy” in the diary. I made a few editorial comments when I transcribed the diary. Some paragraphs or parts of paragraphs were blurred and unreadable and I note this when it occurs. The original diary kept by my father was started prior to the war when he was in training as a paymaster. It was lost or stolen following the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong and during the period when my father was in hospital. He then restarted the diary from memory.
It is actually quite remarkable that this diary ever found its way back to Canada and into the hands of my mother Marjorie Rainey Terry (known as Marnie in the diary). After my father died in November 1942, his watch and wedding ring were hidden in the POW camp for 3 more years by Lt. Bill Nugent M.C. a good friend of my father’s. At some point the watch was traded for food. Bill returned the ring to my mother after the war. When I turned 21 my mother passed the ring on to me and I have proudly worn it ever since. The diary was kept hidden for three years by Capt. George Porteous M.B.E. who later became Lt. Governor of Saskatchewan. After George’s return to Canada in 1945 he brought the diary to my mother’s home in Ottawa, as directed by the diary. My mother was at work and George was met by my mother’s sister. When he explained that he wished to give the diary to my mother, her sister exclaimed “ Don’t give her that, she’s bad enough already!” He then left with the diary and took the train to Montreal. When my mother came home from work, she was told by her sister that George Porteous had been there, but no mention was made of the diary. My mother immediately took the train to Montreal, found George at his hotel and had a two hour visit with him. George also did not mention the diary. He then returned to Saskatchewan.
In 1978 George Porteous died and his wife found the diary. She wondered why it had never been returned. She then passed it on to the local branch of the Hong Kong Veterans Association. Howard Donnelly who was President of the branch traced my mother through Veterans Affairs and contacted her (see letter below). My mother and Howard became good friends after Howard and his wife Clara brought the diary to my mother in Toronto in the summer of 1978. The diary was received by my mother 33 years after the war ended.
5038 A Ave.
June 8, 1978
Dear Mrs. Terry:
After the death of George Porteous, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, his wife when going through his papers, came across a diary belonging to E. L. Terry.
Mrs. Porteous wondered why George had not made an effort to send it to you as Mr. Terry requested on the fly leaf of his diary.
Should you wish to have it, I will be glad to forward it to you.
I know that this may bring back memories that you may not wish to have at this late date in time. Be assured that we will understand.
You may also receive a letter from the Dept. Of records in Ottawa as we had some difficulty in getting your address.
(Signed) Howard G Donnelly