Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Elizabeth Rushworth 1841-1927 - Part 3

Elizabeth Taylor in Nurses Uniform
At the beginning of the 20th Century, William and Elizabeth Taylor lived at 9 Duke Street Colne with five of their six surviving children, William, Lucy, Elizabeth, Matilda and Joseph.  The girls were all employed as cotton weavers and William Jr worked in an iron foundry.  William Snr enjoyed a position of clerk to the Colne Corporation Yard ( or local council).
 Their elder son Richard had emigrated to Sydney, Australia in the sometime in the 1880's. We can only assume that he decided to seek his fortune in a new country having heard about life in Australia from his uncle and Elizabeth brother Joshua Rushworth (who had moved to Australia with his wife and family in the early 1860's).

 Richard married Marion Millar McNair a native of Torphichen, West Lothian, Scotland, in 1891 and William and Elizabeth's first grandchild  William  was born on the other side of the world in 1892 in St Peters, Sydney, Australia.  This must have seen such a long way away to Elizabeth.  We do however know that they family kept in touch as a number of family letters written by William Taylor senior in his beautiful script have survived to this day. 

The Australian Connection- Richard and Marion Taylor and children
Elizabeth continued with her work with the St John's amulance, supporting local doctors, delivering babies and caring for the sick and old.  She continually played her part in seeking donations to support the Ambulance.  One paper article recalls:

"She has taken a prominent part in the development of the movement in Colne including the organising and collection of funds for the new hall in Swan Croft, and in all the social efforts arranged by the association (St Johns Ambulance) for the purpose of raising funds to carry on its work."

When War broke out on the 4 August in 1914 the menfolk were quick to volunteer to join the armed forces while at home the women were drawn into working more and more into the mills, taking over the position previously held by the men.*  The Colne Military Hospital was established in Albert Rd in 1915 and Elizabeth played an important part in its establishment and resourcing equipment for the Hospital. There is a wonderful picture on the web site of  The Lancashire Lantern which shows the nurses outside of the Colne Military Hospital and if you click to enlarge this photo you will see Elizabeth Taylor in her Superintendant Uniform on the left hand side of the picture.  She does give an imposing presence. 

Nurses and patients infont of the Colne Military Hospital near the end of WWI
This wonderful battered photo has been passed down through the family and shows nurses, doctors, and recovering soldiers in front of the Colne Military Hospital. Elizabeth Taylor is sitting on the left hand side of the Mayor (man with chain) in the front row.

This picture would have been taken around the time of the end of WWI and Elizabeth at the age of 77 was still working hard organising the collection of funds to enable the continued service to the community of the St Johns Ambulance in Colne. The young woman who became interested in nursing through caring for her family and friends had come along way.  In her own words, she writes:

"I became interested in nursing when I was 19 years of age, amongst my own Famly, Relatives and Friends, by whom I was almost considered to be the Family Nurse, which was mostly gratuitous up to about two years after coming to reside at Colne in 1886" .
* Harrison, D. 1988, The History of Colne, Pendle Heritage Centre, pp.65-68.

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