Solving the Mystery of Lady Diana Taylour – What came next?
The story of Lady Diana Taylour is a wonderful adventure. Click here to read part one.
Now that an address was known the London city directories were searched. A few of these directories are available at the Toronto Reference Library. The family listed at that address was Stone. The 1901 England census had been released but no references could be found.
The Toronto Reference Library has the online searchable databases for the Toronto Daily Star and the Globe and Mail newspapers. A blanket search for Diana Taylour was done to see if anything came up. It did.
References were found for Lady Diana and Jean Riddell opening a gas station at Post Corners north of Oakville. My research to date has provided no documentation on this event other than the newspaper article. She was a honourary president at the London Ontario Coronation Unit for Ex British Servicewomen. The most interesting item found in the newspapers was an advertisement for a shop she had on Yonge Street. This led me to the Toronto city directories found at the Toronto Reference Library.
Diana showed up once in the directories under her business and a home address. A cross reference for Taylor was done for the home address in the directories. Benjamin who was a superintendent at London Life Insurance and Frank who worked with the Toronto Real Estate Board were found living in the same house as Diana. Who were they?
The next things happened almost at the same time. I had ordered a copy of Diana’s 1940 National Registration Questionnaire but was waiting for it as it takes about two months to receive the information. While waiting for the questionnaire an entry was found in the 1891 England census with Benjamin Taylor living in Norfolk with a daughter Kate who was 10 months old. A birth certificate was ordered. It stated she was born Kate May Taylor in 1890 in Weybourne and her parents were Benjamin Taylor and Kate Bishop.
The 1891 England census had already given me her mother’s maiden name because her grandmother Ann F. Bishop was living with the family. Also in the household were Diana’s brother Edward B. Taylor and a servant Emma Buttle.
A marriage certificate for Benjamin and Kate confirmed Kate’s maiden name was Bishop. Kate’s father was John and Benjamin’s father was William.
The 1940 National Registration Questionnaire gave me even more information. Diana still gave her year of birth as 1896 but she gave the right birth date of 28 May. It states that she and her parents were born in Norfolk. Diana added something new to her name; she was now Katherine Diana May Harwood Taylour.
The new gem was that she arrived in Canada in 1926. Diana said that she could speak French; ran a private rest home and guest home, was a good cook, qualified mechanic and could drive a fire engine. She could also handle horses, drive – automobiles, trucks and a tractor, and was an organizer of girls. She gave her occupation as U.R.C.W. Hon Pres Coronation Unit 2 London Ontario 1 year duration and nursing home matron 8 years duration.
Diana gave more information on her First World War military career. It said in the last war she drove a private ambulance for four and half years and was a column leader of ambulances after the war for eighteen months.
She wanted to help in the Second World War by being trained and serving on the home front. Diana said she would like to run training for women and work overseas or home defense.
To be continued…
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 Kate May Taylor, England birth certificate, 28 May 1891, Norfolk, Erpingham, Holt, entry 261, General Register Office of England
 Benjamin Taylor-Kate Bishop, England marriage certificate, 30 March 1885, Lancaster, Liverpool, entry 57, General Register Office of England
 Dominion of Canada National Registration, 20 August 1940, Electoral District 110, Halton, Polling District 9, Oakville, card for women, card 311, Katherine Diana May Harwood Taylour