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TAYLOR, Thomas Morton – emigrated 1913, returned 1914

Thomas Morton Taylor very briefly emigrated to Canada.  Had it not been for the intervention of the First World War, he might have stayed.

Thomas Morton Taylor (1888-1955) was born at Hampton, Evesham, on 29th November 1887, the fifth of seven children of Thomas Taylor and his wife, Rachel (née Grinnell).  Thomas enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment in 1904, serving in Malta and India.  He moved to the Reserves in 1912 and went to live in Wickhamford.

On 19th April 1913, Thomas married his cousin, Catherine Mary Freeman, in the Church of St John the Baptist, Wickhamford.  Thomas’ mother, Rachel, was the older sister of Catherine’s mother, Edith.  Catherine had been working as a servant in the Moss-Blundell household in Wickhamford in 1911.

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.  Thomas Senior was described as a bricklayer and Thomas Junior a labourer.  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 became a Reservist in the Royal Canadian Highlanders. He returned to England with the first Canadian detachments and rejoined the Worcestershire Regiment on 9th September 1914.  His wife and son followed to England separately a month later and settled in Wickhamford.  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, living at Pitchers Hill.

Thomas died at Wickhamford in March 1955 and was buried at Wickhamford; his wife died eight months later.