Obituary - Johnny Lynch
John Thomas Patrick Lynch
On 25th March 2004, Webmaster received an e-mail from Dick Foxton (Nicholson 1957-1959):
I would like to inform the Old Cambrian Society that Johnny Lynch (Scott House 1951 - 1956) was shot by an intruder in his
home in Johannesburg on the night of Tuesday, 23rd March 2004 and tragically died in the early hours of the following
Remembered by Tim (Lynn) Turner (Scott 1955-1960):
A tremendous rugby player at school, Impala and a representative player for East Africa.
Remembered by Andy Tainsh (Clive 1952-1958):
If you look at the 1956 photo of the School 1st XV you will see that we were on the same team. We also played for the
combined schools team in 1956 which thrashed the Kenya RFU the first time we played them. After that he played for Impala
and the last time I saw him was a good 45 years ago.
Remembered by Ted David (Clive 1952-1956):
Anyone who knew Johnny would have been aware of his fearless nature and there are many large ex centres who do not like to
think of the ferocity of his crash tackles.
This is very distressing news indeed – it hit me like a bolt out of the blue!!
Remembered by Brian McIntosh (Rhodes 1953-1959):
I remember Johnny very well… and, in fact, I was fortunate enough to play on the same rugby team with him at The
Impala Club on several occasions in the late 1950’s and early 1960 before I left for London in 1960 – when Roy Bwye was not
available [as I was usually the Impala second team hooker].
Johnny was a natural, well coordinated sportsman who always played an innovative and exciting game… in particular,
I recall and admired his skills as the “center” in the “forward line” successfully planning and executing the “scissors
movement” on numerous occasions – a deceptive move which was always very exciting to watch … as it completely befuddled the
This is very sad news, especially as he had a big family – four children – who I am sure will follow in his
footsteps as great at sports, etc. It is, indeed, incredibly sad that this terrible crime – and completely unnecessary
violence - has taken place yet again so soon after the same awful thing happened to our dear old buddy Terence O’Meara in
Nairobi in 2003! I find it very difficult to accept this tragic turn of events.
Looking back, we were all very fortunate to share the unique spirit of The Impala Club…. and it brings back a flood
of many happy memories that I am sure we all cherish as we honour the memory of Johnny!
Apart from his prowess at rugby, the main thing I remember about Johnny at school (he was three years my senior) was when
Stork gave him twelve cuts of the cane as a preemptive measure to thwart potentially more serious action by Jake . The
offence involved some alleged after-hours entertainment of a girlfriend on the cricket oval, but the real issue was that
Stork didn't want to risk losing his star player at the height of the rugby season.
In 1959 I got to know Johnny well, personally and socially, when we were each going out with a Van Breda girl - he with
Brenda and I with her younger sister Pat. When it was my time to enter the Kenya Regiment, an avuncular Johnny gave me two
bits of sound advice: "Go to Osman Yakub," he said, "and buy a set of webbing and ammo pouches so that the stuff they
give you at Lanet can be kept ready for inspection all the time," and he continued, "once the course begins, always sit on
the bog twice a day!"
After Johnny and Brenda were married, I stayed in touch with them in the early 1960s on summer visits to Kenya from
university, and in December 1963 they were among the guests at my own wedding in Nairobi (to a girl I'd met at Edinburgh).
A year or so later, I was still in Scotland when the news came that Johnny had moved to South Africa. I lost touch with
him after that, but always remembered him as a warm-hearted, friendly individual.