In 1905 my Grandfather, William Moore, arrived in Shanghai China fresh from his discharge from the Royal Navy and took up a position with the Shanghai Military Police. Shanghai at this point in time was the commercial hub of Asia and a wild and vibrant city, in many ways not unlike it is today.
William settled in Shanghai, and in 1913 met and married my grandmother Esther Morton, a school teacher missionary from Belfast who worked with the China Inland Mission. Two sons were born to them at Yangtsepoo Rd, one of whom was my father.
William rose to the rank of Chief Inspector of the CIB which at that time was responsible for controlling the Triad gangs as well as the rising communist insurgency. On his appointment in 1924 his brief was to clean up the rampant corruption. Sadly he died under mysterious circumstances less than a year later at a time when Shanghai was in turmoil with riots and criminality taking over much of the city.
My father attended the Tientin Grammar boarding school in the north of China and after a brief stint working with the CIM took his undergraduate in Honk Kong before finally heading to the UK, and then Stanford in California for his PhD.
One of my father’s last recollections of Shanghai was manning the shore battery against the invading Japanese air force in the late 1930's.
So my youth was filled with stories and fond memories of the East and all it stood for; its vibrancy, and its exotic mix of madness and calm culture. Whenever I visit Shanghai I marvel when I see the city as it stands today, and for me it holds a very special bond.