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TAYLOR (née FREEMAN), Catherine Mary – emigrated 1913, returned 1914

Catherine Mary Taylor very briefly emigrated to Canada with her husband.  Had it not been for the intervention of the First World War, she might have stayed.

Catherine Mary Freeman (1889-1955) was born at Abbots Morton, Worcestershire, on 6th July 1889, the only child of Charles Stephen Freeman and his wife, Edith (née Grinnell).  In 1891, they were living on Bromsgrove Road, Dodderhill, Charles working as a groom.  At the time of the 1901 census, they had returned to Evesham to live, which was where both Charles and Edith had been born.  Charles was a market gardener’s labourer and they lived near the railway in Hampton.

On 19th April 1913, Catherine married her cousin, Thomas Morton Taylor, in the Church of St John the Baptist, Wickhamford.  Catherine’s mother, Edith, was the younger sister of Thomas’ mother, Rachel.  Catherine had been working as a servant in the Moss-Blundell household in Wickhamford in 1911, and her parents were also living in the village by then.  Charles was a farm labourer working for Benjamin Carter at Field Farm, and he and his wife lived at Field Farm Cottages.

Just five days after the wedding, newly-weds Thomas and Catherine set off for a new life in Canada.  Accompanying them were Thomas’ parents and his youngest sister, Hilda, who also planned to settle in Canada.  They arrived in Quebec on 7th May 1913 bound for Montreal, travelling inland on the Canadian Pacific Railway.  They may have been encouraged to consider emigration by George Percy Osler, a fruit grower, who rented a cottage on Longdon Hill close to Catherine’s parents, who had emigrated in 1912.  Catherine’s father’s employer, Benjamin Carter, may also have influenced them, as his eldest son, Benjamin Atwell Carter, had emigrated in 1891.

Thomas and Catherine’s first child, Charles Thomas, was born in Montreal on 17th May 1914.  But, with the outbreak of the Great War, Thomas returned to England with the first Canadian detachments and rejoined the Worcestershire Regiment on 9th September 1914.

Eighteen months after they had left England, Catherine and her infant son arrived back in her native land, docking at Liverpool on 17th October 1914.  Whist Thomas’ parents remained in Canada for the rest of their lives, that was the end of Thomas and Catherine’s brief sojourn in the country.

Two more children were born at Wickhamford:  Catherine Edith (1916) and Henry Morton (1919-1942).  Apart from living for a few years in Childswickham, Thomas and Catherine remained in Wickhamford for the rest of their lives.

Catherine died at Wickhamford in November 1955; her husband had died eight months previously.