Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Elizabeth Taylor (Rushworth) - Part 5

William and Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth and William spent their remaining years at 9 Duke street Colne. In their retirement they continued to be involved with their local Parish Church.

Elizabeth's ill health prevented her from continuing to work with the St John's Ambulance and she was no longer well enought to be involved in the fund raising projects she worked so hard on in her younger years.

Their surviving children lived close by and their eldest daughter Mathilda who didn't marry continued to live with them.  They were in contact with their son Richard who had now established himself as a stone mason in Sydney, Australia.  During WWI, two of Richards sons, Richard and William were members of the Australian Army and when they were stationed in England were able to finally meet their grandparents.

Elizabeth Taylor in Nurses Uniform
On the 31 January 1927 Elizabeth sadly passed away and in the following year, 30 May 1928 William joined her.  The following tribute was posted in the Colne Times following Elizabeth's funeral.


Tribute by the Rector

"On Sunday morning the private mourners who were present at the funeral of the late Mrs Taylor of Duke Street, Colne - the veteran ambulance worker whose death we recorded last week - attended the service at the Colne Parish Church.  As a tribute of respect to the deceased lady a large number of members of the St. John Ambulance association and the Nursing Division in Colne were also present, and they were accompanied by representatives from Nelson, Brierfield, Burnley, Trawden, foulridge, Earby and Barnoldswick.  They were under the command of Corps Supt. W. Heap, with whom was Reserve Supt. E. Scott, the Lady Corps Supt, Miss Hartley.  As the Girl Guides were also present at their usual monthly parade, there was a large congregation, the Church was well filled.

"Our Mother"

The Rector made an appropriate reference to the late Mrs Taylor, and said that last week had been the departure of one of the most familiar figures in the town.  Although he was not very well acquainted with her ambulance work, he thought it was fitting that he should say something about her.  Continuing, he remarked, 

"The presence with us this morning of the St. John Ambulance Association, gathered in such large numbers from so many districts, is an eloquent reminder to us of the deep respect in which she was held.  Their presence here is no mere post mortem terabyte to her usefulness, for she was he first lady in Colne to be made - many years ago - an Honorary Serving Sister of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England, and it was with a common feeling of reality that we named her in the funeral service last Thursday, not "This our sister" but "This our mother", for she was indeed the mother of this noble  Order in this town of Colne. Of her work with the Colne Auxiliary Military Hospital during the war she often loved to speak, and judging from the number of doctors under who she served - long before the day of District Nurses - she seems to have had the world as her parish.

Our sympathy is with her family and her many friends, and especially with her aged husband, who is still with us after a married life of over 68 years.  I can only conclude this short tribute to her by saying to you all the words with which the Parable of the Good Samaritan concludes: "Go and do thou likewise".

During the Service the hymn "The King of Love my Shepherd is" was sung.

After the Service the members of the Ambulance Association and Nursing Division returned to the Ambulance hall, where lunch was served to those from a distance."

As I type the last few words of Elizabeths story, I have come to the realisation that she was a pioneer in her times, caring for the ill and needy in their homes long before the concept of district  nurses was even thought of.  Her journal lists the names of 29 doctors from the districts of Rossendale, Burnley, Barroford, Boothfold, Waterfoot, Rawtenstall, Newchurch, Colne, Nelson to name a few.   Some of the ailments that she tended were: injury by lightening, maternity, stroke, Brights Disease, typhoid fever, dislocated elbow, tumor on big toe, senile decay, change of life, mild fever, dog bite, cancer.

I hope readers have enjoyed the short summary of Elizabeths life and if any reader can add to this story, either with informtion about the St Johns Ambulance, the district of Colne and Barnoldswick or the Taylor and Rushworth families, I would love to hear from them.

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