Introduction to Lynch Clan

My Lynch ancestors from Ireland came to America in 1848. The group included my Grandfather James Lynch and his five siblings, ages 10 to 18, who sailed without their parents to New York City. Soon they were living in a tenement house in Massachusetts working in a textile mill. From there they gradually migrated west. This blog will contain information gathered by my mother, Hazel Lynch Skonberg from her father, giving details of the trip over and life in America. There is also a diary written by his son, Will Lynch, who was with the American Consular Service of the State Department, and was taken hostage on Dec. 8, 1941, by the Japanese Army who had captured Shanghai that day. I hope you enjoy this blog about the James Lynch family in America.
To receive these blogs by email, sign your email address in the space called Follow By Email, provided on the right hand side of the page. Roselyn George

Monday, January 30, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 165, 166 and 167.

Will Lynch writes about the prices of things in Shanghai, where he is being held by the Japanese along with other State Department people.  As an unattached bachelor, he seems to be invited to quite a few teas, parties and other social events.  Roselyn

May 21, 1942. Thursday.  165th Day.
     Fine weather.
     Sold radio for Chinese $600.00.  Bought it in November 1938, for US$20.00.
     Had tea with Mrs. Mary Kramahdoff, a widow with two daughters in early 20's, at French Club.
     Repatriation looks like a possibility in June, but uncertain.

May 22, 1942.  Friday.  166th Day.
     Fine weather.
     Mr. Howe of Cathay Theatre gave me a pass, and we saw "Blood and Sand", a wonderful picture.   Best I've seen in a long time.
     Bought a used leather suit case for Chinese $210.00, about US$7.00.
     I must rent a radio.  
     C.R.B (Chinese Bank) against FAPI (old Chinese $$) was 77/100 (1.30)
     Today it is 66/100 (1.51) and falling.  It is a racket.  A loaf of bread formerly Chinese $4.00 is now Chinese $6.00.

May 23, 1942.  Saturday.  167th Day
     Met A.M. at Sea Captain's Shop, where her friend sold check of $200.00 by Mr. C.G.  We then walked back via wet streets.  Celebrated ABC's birthday.  
    FAPI vs Chinese Bank is 1.90, though it is supposed to be 66 or 1.66. Looks like NCS will pass out.  I have Chinese about $400.00 left.  Darn it!
     I won several sprigs of mint at ABC's cocktail party and many women swiped the leaves, leaving me only the stem.  They liked the odor.
     Looks as thought we sail June 15th.  Mebbe. (Maybe)
     Tried to rent a radio, but the shop was closed.  Price quoted a few days ago was Chinese $.35--(35 cents) a month.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 163 and 164..

Will Lynch hears more news about repatriation.  Cereal still being issued to Americans who need food.   He is a farmer's son, long removed from the Kansas farm but he always gives the weather conditions!  Roselyn

May 19, 1942.  Tuesday.  163rd Day
     Cool and Sunny.
     Much repatriation talk, via Italian SS Conte Verde, said to being readied to sail about June 14, 1942, or later.
     Bought 6 bananas for Chinese $.30 and 40 cents, or thereabouts.
     Tonight's broadcast on French station seems Russians are winning around Kharkov.

May 20, 1942.  Wednesday.  164th Day.
     Nice weather.
     Was offered Chinese $600.00 for my radio.  May accept.
     Walked out to American School where cereals were being issued to Americans by Red Cross.
     Met A.M.  We walked down LaFayette.   Stopped in at Mrs. Bell's, 1261 LaFayette.  Mrs. B. had us stay for tea. I got some mint.
     Much talk about repatriation.
     I hear Mr. McMun, a Standard Vacuum (Oil Company) accountant, had committed suicide, as he had been summoned to the Bridge House, in Hongkew, for questioning by the Japanese.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 160, 161 and 162.

Will Lynch says the papers report that the Axis (enemies Germany, Japan, Italy, etc.) are not doing very well.  Food situation is bad--scarce and expensive. Note that he always shows address of where he goes.  Perhaps for information in case he does not survive.  Roselyn

May 16, 1942.  Saturday  160th Day
     Hot at mid-day.
     Had lunch with Mr. and Mrs. A. Bagg, 367 Roi Albert, Apr. 4.  Very good.
     Met. A.M. in lobby, after 2:00 p.m.  Lost rummy 2-0.
     After supper JBS won last leg on rummy "super series".  He is tickled "pink" as he's always been losing.
     Judging from papers and radio, "Axis" ain't doing so well.
     JBS says repatriation now set for June 10th.  I am undecided regarding my furniture--to auction or not.

May 17, 1942.  Sunday.  161st Day.
     Cloudy, rainy a bit and very cool.
     Broke even at Hai Alai.  Good concert.
     No particular news.

May 18, 1942.  Monday.  162nd Day.
     Rainy, cold and bad.  
     Beat Brookhart (another of the Consulars) 4-0 at rummy and JBS 5-1 at checkers.
     Food is better at this hotel, Cathay Mansions.  Food situation outside is still bad.  Food is scarce and expensive--as are all articles--priced in "Fapi" (Chinese scrip of sorts).  Exchange shops offered me Chinese $32.30 for US $1.00.
    Seems much U.S. money is taken into "Free China".  Bought 13 handkerchieves for Chinese $7.00, about US 40 cents.

Monday, January 23, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 157, 158, and 159.

Will Lynch finds the Red Cross in the American School in Shanghai is giving cereal to Americans needing food.  Roselyn

May 13, 1042.  Wednesday.  157th Day.
     Good weather.
     Went to American School to see Americans call for Red Cross cereals.
     No indoor baseball, due to cereal disbursement.  Games will be tomorrow.  I have no "outing pass" so will miss the game.
     Mrs. Bell, 1261 Joffre, asked me to tea for Friday. (Address is not far from hotel where he is staying). 
     I helped Mrs. Missimer carry her cereals, and she gave me two big cups of good coffee at her place, 1285 Joffre, House 47, Flat 1.
     Lots of conflicting radio reports regarding naval battle in the Coral Sea.

May 14, 1942.  Thursday.  158th Day.
     Tonight's paper says June 10th is evacuation date.  However, most doubt it.
     Wonderful strawberries in market.  I'd have lots of "short cake" if I still had my flat.
     Radio "hooey" voluminous regarding war.
     Had two cups of coffee at 112 Vallon, with G. Giliberto.

May 15, 1942.  Saturday.  159th Day.
     Very warm.  
     Visited office, but the Swiss don't like it.  Got old check books, so hope soon to see who did not cash checks.
     Had tea at the Bells, 1261 LaFayette.  They had a nice place.
     No good news yet.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 153, 154, 155 and 156.

Will Lynch keeps hearing rumors of sailing dates for repatriation, but doubts most of them.   Roselyn

May 9, 1942.  Saturday.  153rd Day
     Fine weather.
     Talk is about repatriation.
     Japanese had big flag up at Race Course, celebrating alleged victory in Coral Sea.
     Am having ear trouble.  Darnit.  I wonder what is cause of it.

May 10, 1942.  Sunday.  154th Day
    Good orchestra concert today, with ballet.   Well done.
    Date for sailing is now June 14, 1942, on Italian SS Conte Verde.  Seems a bit "fishy" as she might turn raider.
     Ear continues to bother me.

May 11, 1942.  monday. 155th Day. 
     Good weather.
     Saw British picture "Dark Eyes".  Good music.

May 12, 1942.  Tuesday.  156th Day.
     Entered office today.  Swiss now have charge and have the keys.  Put copy of Will and copy of Assets into safe.  Seems Japanese want to get the office, or as much as possible.  Lease expired about April 1, 1942.  I am thinking of sending my furniture to auction.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 150, 151, and 152.

Will Lynch, Vice Consul with the American Consulate in Shanghai, China, remembers that the war began five months ago.  Roselyn

May 6, 1942.  Wednesday. 150th Day.
     Rainy in morning, but sunny and chilly in afternoon.
     Spring Champs run today, but I had no chances.
     Got third typhoid "shot" today.  Arm tonight is sore and I'm a bit dizzy.
     Had tea at A. Murphy.  A strange set up.
     Rummy score with JBS was 1-1.

May 7, 1942.  Thursday.  151st Day.
     Nice weather.  Cool.
     Rumor that Corregidor has fallen.
     Much speculation about repatriation.
     Bought a jar of Chinese honey for Ch.$18.50.  Pretty good as a "smear" (spread).
     Finished the application by G. Giliberto for renewal of his master's license.
     Lost rummy 2-1 to Brookhart.

May 8, 1942.  Friday.  152nd Day.
     War started five months ago today.  Seems like a long time ago.
     Nice weather.  Evening paper says we are to leave in June.  I'm in no hurry.  I'd like to be here when the "break up" comes.
     JBS won 2-0 at rummy.
     Saw "Ben Hur" at the Roxy.
     A.M. is a bit of a nuisance.

Monday, January 16, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 147, 148, and 149.

The Swiss have taken over the Shanghai American Consulate from the Japanese.

May 3, 1942.  Sunday.  147th Day.
     Went to a movie "Belle Starr", thence to Hai Alai.
     In evening played cribbage with three British.

May 4, 1942.  Monday.  148th Day.
     Got some items from the Consulate.  Swiss are now in custody of the office, having taken over from the japanese.
     Good weather.
     Beat JBS 3-0 at rummy.
     Saw a dead Chinese on an "Island of Safety" on Avenue Edward VII.

May 5, 1942.   Tuesday.  149th Day.
     Nice weather.
     Spent an hour or so at a nearby auction with A.M.
     Much speculation about our date of evacuation.
     In morning called at 1183 Ave. Joffre.  Meh kwan Chan much perturbed regarding welfare and whereabouts of H. Gallop.
     Rummy score was 2-1.  Brookhart won, by a fool play on my part.  Got too ambitious.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 144, 145, and 146.

Will Lynch donates money to help native staff and is still paying his "boy" --former manservant.  He read "Mein Kamph".  Hitler (dictator of Germany) and Mussolini (dictator of Italy) have a meeting, causing rumors.  Roselyn

April 30, 1942.  Thursday.  144th Day.
     Warm.  No particular news.  Beat JBS 2-0 at rummy.
     Bought CRB$50.00 for Chinese $66.50 from an Exchange shop.  Bought CRB$10.00 for Chinese $13.00, from a woman at the same time.  Donated CRB$100.00 to help native office staff when need aid.  Paid my boy (manservant) Chan, Chinese $150.00.

May 1, 1942.  Friday.  145th Day.
     Saw a movie at Cathay.  
     Radio says 
big" news to break soon from Berlin.  No what?
     Finished "Mein Kamph" (My Struggle) today.  Phooie!

May 2, 1942.  Saturday.  146th Day.
     Rainy.  Rumors are rife, due to Madrid's radio of "Something big to pop" caused supposedly by meeting of Adolph (Hitler, ruler of Germany) and Musso (Mussolini, ruler of Italy).  Methinks    ??.
     Beat JBS bad;y at checkers, some 7 or 8 to 0.
     Repatriation    ?     Allegedly to sail end of May.  But----very indefinite.

Friday, January 13, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 140, 141, 142 and 143.

Will Lynch received word that several hundred Americans would arrive in next few weeks.   Roselyn

April 26, 1942.  Sunday. 140th Day.
     Warm and rainy wet.  Had a pass of no consequence.
     Papers and radio prognosticate events soon, of such prominence to affect outcome of war.

April 27, 1942.  Monday.  141st Day
     Warm spring weather.  No particular news.
     Beat JBS at checkers 3-0 but rummy was 1-1, and he wouldn't play rubber as it was almost 10:00, his bed time.  Stated he'd win deciding game next time.
     Received circular from the American Association, stating "several hundred Americans would arrive in next few weeks" and asked local Americans to offer housing or forced billeting would likely be resorted to.

April 28, 1942.  Tuesday.  142nd Day
     Warmer.  Party at Mrs. G. Missimer's, 1285 Ave. Joffre, House 47.  House warming.
     Got refund from Sassoon's Chinese $270.00- 163.83-Chinese $106.17.  Just so much gravy, as I had about given up hopes.
     JBS won rubber at rummy.

April 29, 1942.  Wednesday.  143rd Day.
     Warm.  Had second typhoid shot at American School.
     Saw good indoor baseball game.
     Lost rummy to JBS 1-0.  He is feeling elated.
     No good news yet.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 136, 137, 138, and 139.

The American School in Shanghai was established in 1912 to serve children of missionaries and other foreigners in the country.  It closed in 1949 but was reopened in 1980.  Food more scarce.  Roselyn

April 22, 1942.  Wednesday.  136th Day.
     Fine weather--a bit warm.
     Got a pass and called on Sasson's re a refund due and was told it had been allowed and would be paid soon. I hope early next week.
     Went to American School and got a cholera typhoid "shot".  Will go again next Wednesday.  Nurse was Miss Hirst and doctor was Dr. W____?
     Saw many Americans call to get food supplies, a la Red Cross.  Food is scarce and almost impossible to obtain some items.
     Very nice at the school--quiet and sort of "academic".

April 23, 1942.  Thursday.  137th Day.
     Fine weather--a bit warm.  Beginning today we get hot water from 6:00-10:00 a.m. only.  Coal shortage.
     Played many checker games with JBS.  Won most of them, but not all.
     No startling news on tap.  Put on a lighter suit.
     Saw W.C. Ball of Standard Vacuum Oil Co.  Loaned  Mrs. H. Dively of NCDN "Europe in the Spring" and "Options".

April 24, 1942.  Friday.  138th Day.
     Fine warm spring weather.  
     Manager, Mr. Howe, of Cathay gave me a pass for two to "Great Guns" by Laurel and Hardy.
     News?   Well?

April 25, 1942.  Saturday.  139th Day.
     Cloudy and warm.  Some rain in afternoon.
     A.M. and I saw "On With the Show", a local amateur of short vaudeville skits.  Good entertainment.
     No good news yet.  Wonder if America is still snoozing--or just talk-talk?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 134 and 135

Will Lynch again comments on the shortage of food.  He says the Japanese are diverting food to Japan and thinks there will a crisis soon, unless food is permitted in more than now.  Roselyn

April 20, 1942.  Monday.  134th Day.
     Nice weather.  Got a pass and went downtown.
     Japanese soldiers and police were chasing all off Szechuen Road.  Seems Wang Ching Wei (China's Benedict Arnold--a traitor) was to pass that way.  Sad situation when a country's No. 1 must be thusly guarded!
     I had intended going to Canidrome to watch dogs being trained (he did not live far from the race track) but got back too late.  I got only the long walk downtown and back.
     Rummy score was 1-1.  JBS said it was his wedding anniversary and so would win.

April 21, 1942.  Tuesday.  135th Day.
     Nice weather.
     Via radio the Japanese admitted bombing of Japanese towns, but belittled, say damage was slight and that objects hit were hospitals and school!  Oh yeah, say we here.
     Seems provenance of bombers is unknown, apparently from Shangra-la.
     Seems repatriation may be possible ere long, via East Africa, as announcements via radio are more frequent lately.
     Food situation in Shanghai is becoming more acute recently.  Seems the Japanese are diverting food to Japan, paying for it in China with printed money.  Likely a crisis here shortly, unless food is permitted in more than now.


Monday, January 9, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 131, 132 and 133

Will Lynch hears that US bombers from Australia hit Corregidor.  He says hot water is non existent now.  He continues to win at games.  Except for the boredom, I wonder why anyone plays with him!  I remember him as being a boastful winner and very poor loser!  Roselyn

April 17, 1942.  Friday.  131st Day.
     Still cold, but sunny.  Beat JBS 2-0 at rummy.
     Notice was circulated to observe the 10:00 - 4:00 "free" hour in future, as Japanese Consul notified their Gendarmes complained of slackness thereon.  So what!
     Rumor, via short wave, hath it U.S.A. bombers raided from Australia as far as Corregidor and took off some 20 odd officials.  More power to 'em.

April 18, 1942.  Saturday.  132nd Day. 
     Still chilly, but sunny.  
     Had a pass.  Saw movie, "Romeo and Juliet" for second time.  Excellent.  Returned SALOME to M. Byrd
     Ship chandler wants Ch $115.00 for one small and one large duffel bag.
     Noon hot water at hotel is fini!  Coal is scarce and said to be Chinese $1500.00 a ton? and very little arriving.
     Seems Japanese ships are being sunk, and our evacuation a bit problematical.  Well, selah!
     Notice today advised we are to sail May 25, 1942.  But I doubt.  

April 19, 1942.  Sunday.  133rd Day.     
     Cool and a bit wet.
     Had tiffin with A.M. at Winter garden.  Chinese $5.00 each and fare was not very good, but chow now is hard to get.
     Calder at supper announced Tokyo, Yokohama and Kobe had been bombed by U.S.  Wonder if it is true.  Whew!
     No pass today.  Probably due to my applying yesterday after 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 128, 129 and 130

Will Lynch notes that Consular officials and missionaries have arrived. He worries about France.  Roselyn

April 14, 1942.  Tuesday.  128th Day

     Lousy rainy chilly weather.  Ugh!
     Got passes for 3 to Cathay, and A.M. and I saw "Out of the Fog".  Fair, but acting good.
     Gave Mgr. Howe a bunch of razor blades as sort of a quid pro quo.  (I wonder, did he trade those for the tickets?).
     Radio says a bunch of Consular officials and missionaries have arrived today from Chefoo.  Paper says a bunch enroute from Canton.
     Beat JBS at rummy 3-0.  He declined to finish last game.

April 15, 1942.  Wednesday.  129th Day.

     Still rainy and chilly.
     Saw a movie.
     No good news yet.  Seems France might go "haywire" as Laval is to be Premier.
     Nothing to note.  Saw Nieh Kwan Chen.

April 16, 1942.  Thursday.  130th Day.

     Cold!  But no rain!
     Has "shore leave".  Got back blue trousers from tailor.  Better fit now.
     Saw "Bad Lands of Dakota" at Paris.  Not so good.
     Beat JBS 2-0 at rummy.
     No good war news yet, except possibly France may not go "haywire".
     "John Haig" at Wing On's is Chinese $200.00 a bottle.
     Read "Salome" by Oscar Wilde.  Ugh!


Friday, January 6, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 125, 126 and 127

Will Lynch says war news is "lousy".  Bataan has fallen.  Roselyn

April 11, 1942.  Saturday.  125th Day.
     Nice weather.  Saw G. Giliberto re house.
     In afternoon had good Chinese chow at Mr. J.'s.  L. Ritter and A. Murphy were there.  Quite a combination.  Problem!  Nertz.
     Beat JBS at Rummy.
     War news continues lousy.  Seems Bataan Peninsula has passed, but Corregidor holds--and likely will for some time, I opine. Looks bad in India.

April 12, 1942.  Sunday.  126th Day.
     Cooler--but nice weather.
     Saw Dorothy Lamour in "Jungle Princess".  Fair.
     Have heard Japanese are bringing from outposts about a thousand enemy nationals for repatriation.  Whew!

April 13, 1942.  Monday.  127th Day.
     Sunny and cool.  
     Watched greyhounds in 17 training races at 11:00-12:00 a.m.  Very interesting.
     Saw .......ex Boston there and gave him some razor blades which pleased him.
     Beat Brookhart 2-1 and JBS 2-0 at rummy.
     No outstanding news a la war.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 123 and 124

Will Lynch got a pass to go to the Ballet Russe in the Grande Theater.  This theater was originally built in 1928 and has been completely redone in 2008. Roselyn.

April 9, 1942.  Thursday.  123rd Day. 

The Grande Theater built in 1928 and remodeled in 2008.
It was called "The Best Theater in the East"
Click on photo to enlarge.
Rear terrace of Grande Theater--was built in 1928 making
it very modern for that time. Note the Customs House
with the clock in the rear skyline.
Click on photo to enlarge

 Sunny and warm.  Put on a light spring suit.  Saw Ballet Russe at Grande. They put on "Lights and Shadows" and "Cleopatra".  Very small audience.  Music was ok.
     Seems our repatriation ship is a month late.  Rumor has it the intended ship has been sunk.  Radio says Bataan has "sued" for peace or terms.  Seems war is still going against us.  U.S. $ has hit 33.

April 10, 1942.  Friday.  124th Day.
     Sunny and cold.  Used spring suit and winter heavy overcoat.
     Chem Chong Fan and I completed Dec. 1-6, 1941, accounts and turned them over to Bg.  He has to get banker's rate certificate signed.
     Been sick.  Chen and I had Chinese tea at King Awa. Then I had an apple.  Was sick for several hours.
     Stanton says promised opening of Consulate for finals next week has been postponed, as sailing and April postponed.  Seems something awry.  Have heard ship sunk, which is ok.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Map of Shanghai

This is a map of Shanghai 1945, after War II was over. I thought you might like to  look for places mentioned in Will Lynch's diary.   Roselyn

Map of Shanghai in 1945
Click on map to enlarge picture. Number 4 may be the place called Cathay Mansions earlier.  Number 10 is the Grande Theater where he attended the Ballet and other cultural events. Number 12 is the Foreign YMCA where he checked out books.  Number 15 may be another place he stayed.  Number 20, the Metropol is the first place he was kept after he was taken prisoner.  Number 24 is Hamilton House, the apartment where he lived for many years while working for the Consular Service. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

WR Lynch World War II Diary Days 120, 121, and 122

 Will Lynch continues to wonder when American diplomats will be exchanged.  Roselyn.

April 6, 1942.  Monday.  120th Day.
     Sunny and a bit keen.  Got Masonic receipt.
     Had tea with two Russian women.  Russians sure do celebrate Easter.
    Much fewer alcoholics than usual, due to high prices.
    Re-wrote, as of April 8, 1942, statement in triplicate of my assets and WILL in quadruplicate.

April 7, 1942.  Tuesday.  121st Day.
     Sunny and nice.  Got a pass and went downtown.  Got a hair cut--Chinese $2.10 plus 20 cent tip--2.30--US$0.13.  Almost bought a canvas duffel bag for Chinese $48.00--about US$20.  If no trunks are allowed on repatriation ship, I'll likely need a duffel bag.
     Mr. Kay said he had heard the ship would be a month late.  That means leave end of May.
     Got typewriter back from S.V.C. and put it in No. 15.

April 8, 1942.  Wednesday.  122nd Day.
     Nice weather.
     A.M. called.  Also Mrs. James and they went out for chow and a show.
     Rumor has our boat won't be in till well in May.  I doubt it by then--if boat losses continue, and here's hopin'.