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, March 26, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 241 and 242.

The last diary entries by Will Lynch, telling of his experiences when the Japanese took over the American Consulate in Shanghai on December 7, 1942.   He receives his British visa, so is able to travel in Africa and to Cairo for his new post at the American Consulate there.  I will write more of the years after the war.  Roselyn

August 5-6, 1942.  Wednesday and Thursday.   241st and 242nd Days.
     Got British visa on 6th.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 236 to 240

Will Lynch arranges for more passports to include Africa and Near East.  His language shows the racial attitudes of those times.  He finds he has lost about 5 pounds.  Roselyn

July 31, 1942.  Friday.  236th Day. 
     Darky boys are coal black. 
     They bring strong tea to my room each morning.
     Got passport amended to include Africa and Near East.
     Must get a "Union of S.A." visa so we can go to Kruger Park and a return visa for Portuguese East Africa.
     Weighed 189.5 pounds--down from 195!
     Had some dental work done.

August 1-3, 1942.  Saturday,Sunday and Monday.   237th to 239th Days.  August 4, 1942. Tuesday.  240th Day.
     Dental bill Escudos  300.00 or about US$12.00

Friday, March 23, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 233, 234, and 235.

Will Lynch moves to a hotel nearer the Consulate.  He can't leave until Lisbon gives permission.  Roselyn

July 28, 1942.  Tuesday.  233rd Day.
     Warm. Sunny.
     SS Gripsholm is anchored "in the stream". 
Moved to Hotel Cordoza, nearer the Consulate, and weekly rate is Escudos 450.00 vs. 700.00 at Polano.  Effective at noon.     
     Got a glimpse of ship slowly putting out to sea at 3:00 p.m.
     Don't know how long I'll be here, as I can't leave until Lisbon permits.
     However, it's nice here.  Hotel is on upper level, some 200 ft and overlooks busy port and city below.
     Bought 2 straps for my suit case to replace some "taken" by Italian 
"gentleman" (sic) on the CONTE VERDE-the dern thief.  Cost was Escudos 27.50.

July 29, 1942.  Wednesday.  234th Day.
      Still at Lourenco Marques--L.M.

July 30, 1942.  Thursday.  235th Day.
     Aired and sunned clothing.  All is o.k.
     Heavy wind about 7:00--8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 231 and 232.

Will Lynch takes a "Safari" trip to see an animal reserve 20 or 30 miles out of Lourenco Marques, Portuguese East Africa.   Roselyn

July 26, 1942.   Sunday.   231st Day. 
     Trip by motor to Vila Luisa on Incomati River, some 20/20 miles out of Lourenco Marques.
     Saw native dances, a la Duke Ellington, and native kraul-huts, but no wild Hippo, due to lack of time.
     Drivers held to 20 miles per hour.
     The ASAMA MARU and CONTE VERDE ships left about 10:00-11:00 a.m. for Japan. (These were the ships that took American and other diplomats and families to the area of repatriation).
     Tried to chow on the GRIPSHOLM, but could not, as they have a check system now in force and it debars me.

July 27, 1942.  Monday.  232nd Day.
     Fine weather.
     Began eating at this Hotel Polana.
     All ships' leave finished by 1:00.  I left about 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 228, 229, and 230.

Will Lynch changes boats as the hostages are exchanged.  He stays at Polana Hotel at Lourenco Marques, Portuguese East Africa.   Roselyn

July 23, 1942.  THursday.  228th Day.
     At Lourenco Marquest, changing boats.
     Am informed I must leave this boat as I will get no berth.
     Left at 9:00 p.m., and went to Polana Hotel.

July 24, 1942.  Friday.  229th Day.
     Warm and pleasant.
     Still at Polana Hotel, with part of gear.
     Trunk and 2 duffel bags yet to come.
     Portuguese national holiday.

July 25, 1942.  Saturday.  230th Day.
     At Polana Hotel.  Prepared many letters to go back on Gripsholm (Ship returning to America.  As I remember, he often came back on the Gripsholm ship.)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 225 through Day 227

Will Lynch spends his last three days on the ship taking him away from captivity in Shanghai to East Africa. He does not report on how the exchange of diplomats was done. He learns that he will be going to a State Department Post in Cairo, Egypt.  He is now safe in Portuguese East Africa, ready for whatever happens next.  There will be a break, and the rest of the Diary will continue in about a week.  Roselyn

July 20, 1942.  Monday.  225th Day.
     Nice weather.
     We must be around the south end of Madagascar.
     Got my bill amounting to Japanese Yen.  3.18.  Sevena's was 2.77.  We used the alphabet system, and he won mine.  
     So, he pays.

July 21, 1942.  Tuesday.  226th Day.
     Saw a bird aft of ship, so must be near land.
     Turned 2 suitcases back to the baggage room.
     Turned in Military Yen 40.00.
     Supposed to be reimbursed from Washington at 3 1/3 rate.

July 22, 1042.  Wednesday. 227th Day.
     Picked up pilot boat about 7:00, so Lourenco Marques (Africa) can't be far away.
     Arrived at 12:00 noon at Lourenco Marques.  Nice town.
     Weather fine.  I Hear I am to go to Cairo.


Friday, March 9, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 219 through Day 224

As Will Lynch continues on his Indian Ocean trip away from Shanghai and captivity to the East of Africa, he thinks they are not far off of Madagascar.  He does not hear any news of the war, or much else, since this is an Italian ship.   He continues his games of cribbage, rummy, etc with passengers on board.  Roselyn

July 14, 1942.  Tuesday and Wednesday.  219th and 220 Days.
     Bit rough, "monsoony".
     Won 3.00 Japanese Yen at cribbage.

July 16, 1942.  Thursday.  221st Day.
     Bit rough.
     Sighted a freighter, "riding high"--empty.

July 17, 1942.  Friday.  222nd Day.
     Sunny and a bit warmer.
     Checked with baggage master about my baggage.  Must return 2 pieces to baggage room by 20th, next Monday.
     Have not yet found my trunk.

July 18, 1942.  Saturday.  223rd Day.
     Not too far off Madagascasr.
     Seas are not so rough.
     Won Japanese Yen 6.00 at cribbage.

July 19, 1942.  Sunday.  224th Day.
     Nice weather.
     Sold Japanese Yen 30.00 for US$5.00.
     Got a Nobleze Corona (cigar), gold foil wrapped, off of Mr. Severa, ex radio man from Amoy Consulate.
     Will smoke it at Captain's dinner, and pretend I'm a "Burgossey".


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 216, 217. and 218

Will Lynch says he thinks the ship he is on is close to Krakatao Volcano.  The Japanese ship accompanying them is having trouble keeping up.  Minister preaching at Sunday services becomes political and is stopped by the Italian Captain.  Roselyn

July 11, 1942.  Saturday.  216th Day.
     Buried Mrs. Roberts at 5:00 a.m.  I was not up in time, but was awake.  I had forgotten.  
     Krakatao Volcano is hearabouts.

July 12, 1942.  Sunday.  217th Day
     Am reading "Oliver Wiswell".
     Cut suspender buttons off khaki shorts as they were not needed and stuck into my body.  (In those days, men of a certain size and weight wore suspenders.  Men's trousers had buttons on the inside of the waistband--two in front and two in back, so suspenders with loops could be hooked to those buttons. Will Lynch had lost enough weight that he did not need suspenders, and the buttons at his waist bothered him so he cut them off. Though he had chosen a far different life than that of his father and brothers, loved the culture of ballet and symphony, and never regretted that life, he still enjoyed thinking of himself as a farmer.  His favorite attire, when visiting us on the farm was bib overalls and a straw hat--a real sight to see!)
     Bishop Billman, Hankow, sermonized, but went off the deep end on a political angle, and the meeting was stopped at the direction of Swiss Consular representative, via Italian Captain;  much talk aboard.

July 13, 1942.  Monday.  218th Day. 
     Seas a bit heavy.
     Won Yen 13.00 at cribbage.
     The Japanese ASAMA Maru is in engine trouble and can't keep up.
     My "tummy" isn't too good.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 214 and 215

Ship taking Will Lynch from captivity in Shanghai to East Africa, crosses the equator.  Another death on board--wife of another Consul.   Roselyn

July 9, 1942.  Thursday.  214th Day.
     Sailed from vicinity of Singapore between 12:00 - 1:00 p.m., the Asama Maru leading.
     Never saw Singapore, now called by Japanese, Shonan.
     All glad to be moving again.
     9:00 p.m.  The ASMA is lit up like a High Mass, about a mile ahead.
     Crossed equator in afternoon, my first;  usual certificates by Neptune Rex are being prepared.

July 10, 1942.  Friday. 215th Day.
     Good weather.
     Our route is southerly, to pass between Java and Sumatra.
     Clocks were set back one hour.  Heretofore we've had Tokyo day-light saving time, and it was "cockeyed".
     Another death, Mrs. Roberts, wife of Consul Roberts, Chefoo, China, hailing from Texas.     
     9:00 a.m.  Rainy and squally.  Must be nearing Sunda Straits, between Sumatra and Java.     12:00 Noon.  
     Quite cool.   

Monday, March 5, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 210, 211, 212, and 213

Will Lynch on "Repatriation Ship" stops at Singapore.   Japanese fly over. Roselyn

July 5, 1942.  Sunday.  210th Day.
     Arrived at Singapore, anchored, several miles out, about 12:00 noon.
     Supposed to stay several days until Asma Naru arrives with its repatriates from Japan, Hong Kong and Saigon.
     Lit an Insular Corono (cigar) after luncheon.  Thought of Captain Giliberto, the donator of cigar, last April, and the job I did for him about renewal of his master's license.

July 6. 7. & 8, 1942.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  211th, 212th, 213th Days.
     Took on fuel oil.
     Still here.
     Many Japanese airplanes in formation came over.
     Took on water and fruit.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

WR Lynch WW II Diary Days 204, 205, 206207, 208 and 209

Will Lynch finally boards the ship that will take him away from Japanese captivity in Shanghai, China.    Roselyn

June 29, 1942.  Monday.  204th Day.
     Up at 4:30 a.m.  Sailing for repatriation via Lourenco Marquest Portuguese East Africa, on Italian SS Conte Verde.
     Said to be 636 passengers aboard.
     Good ship, good food, good cabin.  Cabin mate is Mr. Altaffer, American Consul from Amoy.
     Table mate is C. H. Williams, Clerk American Consulate, Shanghai.

June 30, 1042.  Tuesday.  205th Day.
     Warm, cloudy, but no rain.
     Can't locate my trunk, but many thousand or so pieces are in freight hold, so mine must be there.  If not, ye Gods!  I'll be short of winter gear.
     Met fellow from Canton, China, named Maiskie, I knew there in 1920-21.  He beat me badly at cribbage.
     Orchestra, some 5 or 6 pieces, gave good 1 1/2 hour concert of salon music at 9-10:30 p.m.
     No war news.

July 1, 2, 3, 4,  Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.  206th, 207th 208th, 209th Days.
     Buried a missionary one day.
     No celebrations on 4th.  In fact, I quite forgot till July 5th.

Friday, March 2, 2012

WR Lynch Days 200 and 203

Will Lynch is packing to leave his Shanghai "jail"  and has his cabin assignment on the ship leaving soon.  Roselyn

June 27, 1942.  Saturday  202nd Day.
     Fine weather.
     Though I applied yesterday for a pass, none was granted.  Went down town anyway.  All afternoon leave cancelled.
     About 6:00 p.m., 2 men from Swiss Consulate brought down our tickets and red ribbon badges--to indicate "Officials".  I have Cabin 201, Bed A, on B Deck, First Class, with bath and toilet.  Seems ok.
     Killed time by winning cribbage from Messrs. Groves and Hinke, and checkers from JBS.  Lost a rummy game to JBS, supposed to be Championship of Cathay Mansions.  (Where he was living during captivity by Japanese in Shanghai).
     War news from North Africa continues "lousy".
     I'll probably draw Cairo as a post, in time to get "captured" again.
     I weigh 185 pounds, or a loss of 25 pounds.  Walking did most of it.  
     Feel fine.

June 28, 1942.  Sunday.  203rd Day.
     Had roast goose with J.J. James, wife and daughter, Henry Frances Parks and Hal Mills in Jimmy's Kitchen, owned by Mr. James.
     Movie in afternoon with A.M.  
     Whew!  Packing!  What a job to get all in 3 pieces.
     1:00 a.m., in morning.  
     Bath and to bed as will be wakened by 4:30 a.m.