52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 7: February 12-18:
A Second Valentine for Myrtle
Stuart Taylor was a bachelor living in the country when he first met Myrtle. She had moved from Melbourne to Brucknell in country Victoria in 1939 after her first husband’s death.[i] Left with two small children (a son Warrick aged 5, and a daughter Judith aged 4) to support, she had sought refuge at the property of her uncle, Norm Crump, not far from Stuart’s family property.[ii]
Single women were rare in the country, so there were many suitors who courted her. Judith remembers her mother seeking the counsel of her and her brother about two suitors in particular – Stuart Taylor and another asking them which one of the two she should choose.[iii]
Judith, then 11 years old and having a passion for horses recommended that her mother marry Stuart Taylor, her son, however, felt the gentleman with the car was the much better choice. Stuart must have been aware of the competition as he soon bought a car. Myrtle’s grandson, Simon was later to tell the story of Stuart’s proposal to Myrtle. Which went as follows: -
“One day during WWII, a local farmer, Stuart Taylor, rode to Uncle Norm’s farm on a white horse, dismounted and dropped to one knee and proposed to Myrtle.” [iv]
Myrtle received a saddle for her engagement present from Stuart, after much discussion about which was the best type and most suitable for her.
|Photographer unknown, Myrtle & Stuart Taylor possibly on their wedding day, 1943, Terang, Victoria, Australia. Sandra Williamson’s Private photo Collection[b175]|
Myrtle married Stuart Rockford Taylor on 26 June 1943 in Terang in the Methodist Church.[v]
After the wedding, the family moved to Stuart's farm in Framlingham Road, Terang. They lived in Terang for twelve months before their daughter (Diana) was born in 1944.
While Myrtle was in the hospital having her baby her parents traveled from Melbourne to assist with the care of her the two eldest children and possibly also assist Stuart with the move the new family farm at Camperdown.
On the morning of the 13th July in 1952, Stuart asked his stepdaughter if she would go down and milk the cows as he wasn’t feeling well. Usually, Judy would have protested at such an imposition however on this day she complied without protest. While she was down at the cowshed he died of a massive heart attack.[vi]
|1952 'MR. S. R. TAYLOR', Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954), 25 July, p. 3. , viewed 08 Feb 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article24003913|
Originally Stuart was buried in an unmarked grave in Camperdown Cemetery,[Lawn 2 Row G Grave 20].
Years later his stepson Warrick returned and placed a grave marker to identify where he was buried, saying at the time “Pop” was the only father that they really ever knew.
|Photographer Sandra Williamson, Grave marker for Stuart Rockford Taylor, 2007, Camperdown Cemetery, Camperdown, Victoria, Australia [T287]|
Stuart hold’s a special place in his family’s heart.
WikiTree Link for Stuart Rochford Taylor
Stuart's name is spelled in different ways in various documents, I have yet to write up a summary of what I have discovered but below are a few examples of those spellings:-
Stuart Rochford Taylor - birth record and various voter rolls
Stewart Rochford Taylor - voter rolls
Stuart Rockford Taylor - newspaper article & headstone marker on grave site.
[i] Marriage Certificate of Lincoln Todman & Myrtle May Crump Bassett, married 21 September 1929, Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 9531/1929; Death Certificate Lincoln James Todman, died 11 June 1938; Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 15005/1938
[ii] Personal conversation and interview(s) by Sandra Williamson with Judith Williamson, 2017 & Myrtle Sharp 1980s.
[iii] Personal conversation and interview(s) by Sandra Williamson with Judith Williamson, 2017
[iv] Personal conversation with Simon Todman 2008 by Sandra Williamson while preparing Myrtle’s Eulogy.
[v] Original Certificate of Marriage for Stuart Rockford Taylor & Myrtle May Todman married 26 June 1943, Terang, Victoria, Australia
[vi] Personal conversation and interview(s) by Sandra Williamson with Judith Williamson, 2017; Death certificate of Stuart Rockford Taylor, died 13 July 1952, Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages, Victoria, Australia. 20502/1952