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Section I: East Asia Missions

Part 19: South China Mission, 1935-1951, Chekiang Mission, 1935-1951, West China, 1935-1951, Fukien Mission, 1935-1951, and Kwangsi-Hunan Mission, 1935-1951

This material continues coverage of the missions to China, with papers from 1935-1951. The earlier papers for these missions are to be found in Parts 10-18.

The papers for 1935-1951 are arranged by subject area - Education, General, Medical and Dioceses.
The South China Mission Education papers for 1935-1951 cover school and college annual reports, minutes, plans for new schools and financial details for the institutions. The establishments covered are Hong Kong St Stephen's College, St Stephen's Girls' College, St Stephen's Hall, Kowloon Heep Yunn School and Kowloon Taipo Orphanage.

The general papers include more information on schools, newsletters about air raids and the fighting in China, accounts of tours round the Diocese, reports from the schools, and Executive Committee reports. The areas covered are Canton, Hong Kong, Kowloon, Kunming, Pakhoi, Yunkwei.

The medical papers contain reports from the hospitals, lists of shareholders and supporters of the hospitals, and financial accounts (payments and receipts). The medical missions covered are the Kunming and Pakhoi missions.

The following extract tells of the air raids on a CMS hospital in Kunming;

"Kunming, which used to be far in the interior and free from the direct effects of warfare, is now in the very thick of it, for the planes that bomb us now come from the French Indo-China airfields just south of Yunnan Province. On September 30 we had the first severe bombing. Mrs Tsu, our two younger boys, Robert and Kin and myself took refuge in a dug-out not far from where we were staying. We were told that ten feet of reinforced concrete formed the arch of the dug-out, accommodating about 200 people. Bombs fell near and the whole place shook as in an earthquake. We thought Doom's Day had come, for if the thing collapsed we would be buried alive. A few seconds after the quake the odour of burnt gunpowder invaded the dug-out, causing a lot of coughing among the crowd. We almost thought it was poison gas.the Wen Lin Tang staff has organized forty Christian students into an Emergency Relief Corps, divided into four teams, each equipped with stretchers, pick-axes, axes, shovels, bedding and first-aid medical supplies. As soon as official badges are secured from the authorities, they will start relief work after air raids..

Two other mission establishments in the city have suffered badly in these raids. The Methodist Church, the largest Church building in the city, had its front shattered and several rooms demolished by a near-by bomb. The worst fate fell on the German Lutheran Sisters' Compound. It used to be the showplace of mission work in the city: the school for blind girls, the industrial work, an up-to-date dental office, etc all housed in a large and beautiful Chinese court by the side of the Central jade lake. Several bombs landed squarely in the centre of the Court and reduced the place to a heap of ruins almost beyond recognition. I once saw a picture of Herr Hitler in the reception room, but that room was demolished and presumably the important picture has gone down amid the ruins also. This air raid business has upset the normal life current of the city.. In the daytime the city is practically deserted: an ominous silence reigns and nothing moves along its thoroughfares except the faithful police patrols at their beats.

Toward nightfall the people return from the country-side and the city pulsates with life again. The people adjust themselves to these new and strange conditions courageously, vividly realising that they are a part of a nation suffering from its devastations of war but asserting its right to freedom".

The Chekiang Mission Education papers for 1935-1951 feature reports, minutes, financial details for the Hangchow Mary Vaughan High School, the Ningpo Girls' Boarding School, the Ningpo Trinity College, the Shanghai Anglo-Chinese School and the Shaohsing King Memorial School.

The general papers for this mission include reports and letters concerning schools, hospitals and colleges, minutes of conferences, details on repairs needed to mission houses after air raids, and news cuttings from papers such as The Shanghai News (with reports of bombing of Shanghai by the Japanese and descriptions of the political situation in China prior, during and after WW II). Chuki, Hangchow, Ningpo, Shanghai, Shaohsing, Linhai are the areas covered by these papers.

Medical papers include reports and letters, minutes of conferences, registration of land deeds, maps and photographs for the Hangchow medical mission and information on Hangchow leper work. Also included are reports of the CMS Conference and Standing Committee, the Medical Sub-Conference and a very small amount of news from the Dioceses.

The following excerpt is from a letter by the Rev Ronald Rees, the British member of the secretariat of the National Christian Council of China:

"August 18 1937
Notes on the Situation in Shanghai

Dear Colleague
.. I returned from Kuling on Monday, August 16th. I left Kuling on Thursday morning, August 12th, reaching Nanking the next day, only to find that trains were running only as far as Soochow and that no boats were going to Shanghai because the channel of the Yangtze has been blocked by the sinking of ships in Kiengyin.. Here in Shanghai the situation is very serious, as we all know. In several respects it is worse than in 1932. For one thing, there is less possibility for people to get away from the city. Five years ago there were plenty of boats to take people to Ningpo and elsewhere. Now there are none, except a few steamers evacuating British and American women and children. The only exit is by railway to Hangchow and the few trains in that direction are crowded in a way I have never seen before, with people even clinging to all parts of the engine. Owing to the closing down of mills and many business houses, there is a lot of unemployment and several hundred thousand people have come in from outside the Settlement. Consequently food and fuel are a great problem..

The other factor which was not present to the same extent in 1932 is the war in the air. The planes on each side go up daily to bomb each others' positions or ships. Unhappily there have been two bombs dropped by Chinese airplanes with disastrous results in the central part of the Settlement. One was on top of the Palace Hotel. It is said that the airman was aiming at the Japanese flagship near the Japanese Consulate, but let go too soon and the high wind blowing from the east carried the bomb over the Bund. 120 people are said to have been killed. The second bomb was dropped in the middle of the intersection of Yu Ya Ching Road and Avenue Edward VII. The airman was apparently returning from a raid on the Japanese ships and had been damaged by anti-aircraft fire. Possibly some damage to the bomb carriage released the bomb when he was just over that spot. The casualties amounted to over 1000, including as you know, Dr Frank Rawlinson, who had just stepped out of his car near the Nanking Theatre and was struck either by a piece of the bomb, perhaps more likely by bullets from the Japanese anti-aircraft guns shooting at the plane".

The West China Mission Education papers for 1935-1951 feature payments to China universities by CMS, Minutes of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors and Annual Meetings of the West China Union University, appointments of new staff, resignations, the quality of new students, reports on departments, gifts of grants, a list of missionaries who had served at the West China Union University, registration figures, places of origin of the students, post war plans, balance sheets, booklets describing the constitution of the University, reports of the Women's College, appeals for funds, copies of The West China Union University News Bulletin, letters discussing Communist China and its effect on the regime of the university, and a description of bad floods in Chengu. The institutions covered in these papers are Chengtu West China Union University, Chengtu West China University Women's College, Chengtu West China Union Theological College, Chengtu CMS College and Mienchow Yoh Teh School.

The extract below was written by Tom Scott (a representative from Syracuse University sent to West China Union University) in February 1950. In his regular newsletters he provides a vivid description of student unrest at the university in Chengtu, Szechwan province after World War II.

"February 7, 1950

Dear Friends,
The sky this morning is typically Szechwan, close enough to touch and damp enough to wring out. But despite the grayness of the day we are breathing a sigh of relief; the term is over and vacation is here. We have just passed through some confused and emotional weeks and student and teacher alike, need this time to compose thought and feeling before going on.. as the situation settled we began to feel the first stirrings of revolt. We had expected after years of repression under the old government there would be outbursts of student exuberance but had thought it would end after the first weeks hilarity and dancing had tired and relieved them.

However the vocal element, that vociferous few who take leadership out of confusion soon took the reins in hand and a fight was on between student and University. The representatives of the Communist army stationed on campus and strangers both to Szechwan and to education encouraged the shouting. Falling quickly into the slogans for democracy that in the early revolt mean only irresponsibility the students demanded power and joining with the workers on the campus started what has seemed to be an endless chain of meetings, meetings and more meetings to establish position.. The students expressed disappointment that the Communists had not also "liberated" them from exams and moved to have them abolished.

At a following meeting of the whole school the faculty tried to present the decision and reasons for the University council in regard to exams to counter the student demands. At this point the students arose to launch personal attack upon personal attack on administration and faculty. Many of these men had of course taken part in the Kuomintang government, many had officered the Youth Corps and none wished to expose himself to mob accusation. Many teachers failed to come to the next meetings and the Communist representative then sent around an order for attendance, stating that the teachers must not be disrespectful to the students. The teachers were frightened and being successfully cowed the students took over.. the students have been absolving the new slogans and ideas of the new government. They have spent hours learning the dances and the songs of the revolution from the North. And they spend a lot of time in discussion groups or lecture groups to hear the theory of the new democracy.. last week I joined my students on a little sortie amongst the people to spread the new slogans. The system was for us to march along and at wide places in the road form a circle within which a dance team would perform the Yang Go or the old farmers dance and to the accompaniment of several rhythm instruments, mainly gongs..a couple of students would fling about a political speech or two and others would go amongst the crowd to add a little sopa-boxing.. they stood and solemnly listened to the golden promise of the new day and then said, yes, that is all very fine, but why had the price of rice gone to double. These tough, independent western people have seen one government after another come and go, have seen one body of soldiers take over from another and their outlook is realistic, if cynical. It's all very well but we'll believe it when we see it, till then we will go about our own way. Heaven help the man who tries to change the Szechwan way..".

The General papers cover letters re salaries, furloughs, conference minutes, copies of The West China Missionary News and The West China Tidings, descriptions of the work going on in the missions, much on mission property and repairs, reports on tours of the Diocese and on the taxation of mission property by the Chinese, financial reports.

The extract below gives a detailed account by Rev H Maxwell in June 1935 of the political situation in China at that time:

"Reds are continuing to gain victories both in the North and South and before long they may unite forces. It is thought that their immediate objective is to gain Hsik-ang to the West of the Province and Sovietize it. They will then be a perpetual menace to the W. of China. General Chiang Kai Shek has taken a strong line in the Province and is stirring up the local generals to assume their responsibilities and unite. A broadcast message of his has been described by a Chinese on the University staff as being "like a sermon and given in the spirit of a sermon" and it was one of the most outspoken messages that writer has ever read in any newspaper. If the General's remedial policy is put into effect there will be some hope for the Province.. The Communists are fighting fiercely in the Chongpa-Anhsien-Mienchu-Mochow sector, the last named being in their hands. They will use it as a base to come down to Kwanhsien which is only about 30 miles from Chengtu. They will then proceed South-west to combine with the Chu-Mao contingent which some weeks ago crossed the Yangtse from the South and are now making for Tatsienlieu. The Generalissimo's presence in Chengtu has greatly improved the local situation which led to the return of the ladies to the city.."

The Fukien Mission Education papers for 1935-1951 includes reports on the Bishops' tours of the diocese, the bulletin of the Association for the Chinese Blind, reports from the school and appeals for financing of the Blind Boys school at Foochow, reports from the Girls' School at Foochow, letters discussing the political situation in China before, during and after World War II, rules and regulations, the President's Annual Report details of student uprisings at Fukien University, and estimates and plans for rebuilding work after World War II. The establishments covered in these papers are the Blind Boys' School, the Girls' Boarding School, the Theological College, the Union Kindergarten Training School, the Trinity College, the Union University - all at Foochow and the Funing Girls' School.

Some of the highlights of the General papers are a description of the bombing of Chungan and Kienow and the damage caused to the missionary's residence in Kutien, many letters discussing the political situation in China, maps of the region, letters regarding the sale of mission property, and descriptions of the 50th Anniversary of the Robert Stewart Memorial School. The areas covered here are Chungan, Foochow, Futsing, Kienning, Kienyang, Kutien, Lienkong, Ningteh, Funing.

The following extract is written by W G Barclay at Foochow hospital in 1947:

"Dear Friends,
It is well into summer, yet unusually cold, because most of the plain is flooded. No one can reach Nantai except by boat and schools and offices have had to close. For weeks it has rained. We generally have a good deal in May and June, but this year is the worst for a long time. Yesterday, First Aid parties were rescuing people trapped by the flood and taking cooked rice to those living in the upper storeys of their houses with no means of cooking.

Walls are crashing down everywhere. Most of them are mud with a row of tiles on the top and cannot stand up to so much rain. Four of our walls have come down and repairs will be costly. Practically every ward and house on the Compound is leaking, as Foochow is just not built for this type of weather. One of our patients had a view of the interior of her house from the window, because the whole side had fallen out!

Poor China, what difficulties she has to face! The price of rice was already fantastic, but will go even higher as this flood will ruin the crop already maturing. There is a great deal of distress still. Only recently a poor woman was brought in unconscious one Sunday. She had tried to take her life with an over-dose of narcotics, because she had no means of livelihood. Now she has recovered, but has to go back to face the same life of poverty again. That same morning, a man came in with a wee baby girl, asking our help to put her into the Foundling Home. Apparently she had been left on the doorstep of the Blind Girls' School and been out in the rain much of the night. We were arranging to send her to the Home when a woman onlooker offered to take her. Inquiries were made and then we gladly accepted for she has a good home and can afford to look after the child. Not all the babies are so fortunate as this one, however.."

The next extract written by John Hind in Foochow gives an idea of the unrest in the area in 1934:

"Dear Mr Barclay,
I must tell you a little about the political situation which is extremely unsatisfactory. You will remember how I told you about the Communist raid which, though short and sharp, disturbed things very badly. Most of the districts settled down peacefully, but the two counties of Loyuan and Lienkong are still extremely unsettled. During the last month now no fewer than six of our country Chinese workers have been foully murdered.. Another schoolmaster and his wife had a narrow escape, having gone up to Lienkong City on account of the wife's illness just before the men came searching for them.. Now news comes that Rev Ding Sing-ming, a nephew of Bishop Ding's has been taken by bandits.. We have not been able to locate him yet, but they are asking for a money ransom as usual."

The Medical papers included in this mission report feature details on the rebuilding of hospitals after the war, the bombing of Foochow, and the difficulty of living conditions during the war. The reader is able to trace the effect of World War II on the area from 'very little effect' to frequent bombings, lots of casualties and lack of food. There is also much detail on operations carried out and accounts of the wounded and their treatment. The institutions covered in this section are Foochow Medical Mission, Funing Medical Mission, Hinghwa Medical Mission, Kienning Medical Misssion, Lienkong Medical Mission and Ningteh Medical Mission.

The Kwangsi-Hunan General Papers for 1935-1951 ( there are no papers specifically for Education) contain much on the situation in the diocese during World War II - from the rise in the cost of living, to the evacuation of missionaries, the bombing, and the changes after liberation in 1949. The areas covered are Hengchow, Hingan, Kweilin, Yungchow.

The extract below, written by Rev Douglas, tells of the effect of the new Communist regime in November 1949:

"It is now just a month since we were liberated and the new regime is now in full swing. One cannot but admire their organisation. Within two weeks of our liberation almost everything was going well - schools were opened, local government organised, even a Bank opened, although such a thing had not existed in Lingling in recent years. When one remembers that they are doing the same thing in numberless other places at the same time, one realises how efficient their organisation is. All those institutions have been organised in addition to all the military and propaganda work that has been carried on.

All our parishes in Hunan have now been liberated and we have encouraging news from every one of them.. Kwangsi is a different story and reports still maintain that whole populations are being ordered to move out so that the communists when they march in will find something in the nature of scorched earth. .. We continue to be full of troops here.. We.had none for about three weeks but now have members of the army medical corps occupying two rooms. In addition to these permanent guests we are apt to have stray soldiers calling in just to look around and chat.. They are all extremely courteous and always ask before they borrow.. Just as I was writing this we received official news via the telegraph office that Kweilin was liberated yesterday. .We have just had news from Chuanhaien the town just over the border from here. They had a bad time, fighting followed by looting and various other types of unpleasantness. The place changed hands three times.. We all registered the other day with the new Bureau of Public Safety. We had to answer many questions which were patiently written down in triplicate for us to sign."

The Medical papers contain reports and letters concerning the Medical Mission at Kweilin.

The CMS Archives reveal much about Chinese history and culture. They record the collision between western and indigenous cultures and the changes that resulted from this. They describe the introduction of western medicine, the establishment of schools and the confrontations and compromises between differing religious beliefs. The papers are a rich source for ethnologists, social historians and all those trying to understand China before and after missionary intervention.

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