Salvation Army Connection
I mentioned in a previous post that there is an article about The Salvation Army in the current issue of Inside History Magazine The article is about the Tracing service that the Salvation Army has to trace missing family members. I haven’t had the need to use this service, but thinking about the article, I remembered that my family history has quite a few connections to the Salvation Army, on both my paternal and maternal side.
My great grandfather, ERNEST WELFARE WATERS was born in 1878 and married his first wife, ELIZABETH MACROW at Rochester in 1899. Before their marriage Elizabeth had been a Salvation Army Officer. But due to the ruling in the Salvation Army that officers could only marry officers, she had to resign. I’m fairly sure that this rule still exists today. Unfortunately Elizabeth died just two years after the marriage. Ernest’s second marriage was to HILDA MARY BEATRICE GILMOUR in 1902. They lived a long life together, both reaching their late 90s. Both Ernest and Hilda were life long members of the Salvation Army. I remember them both wearing their uniforms. Ernest was known as an Envoy. This was explained to me as being as close as you can get to being an officer, without actually being an officer. When I was a child I went to Sunday School at the Salvation Army. I was always aware, when there, of the great esteem that my great grandparents were held. I have been told that there were so many members of the WATERS family in he Salvation Army band that the band was known as the Band of Many Waters.
This photo shows ERNEST WELFARE WATERS and HILDA MARY BEATRICE GILMOUR on their wedding day.
Ernest and Hilda’s third child was BERNARD WATERS. Bernard was a Salvation Army Officer, who also resigned in order to marry. This photo shows Ernest and Bernard together in their Salvation Army uniforms.
WILLIAM TAYLOR is my great grandfather, but this time on the paternal side of my family history. He died in 1905 and his obituary in the Salvation Army Publication “The War Cry” shows that he was a greatly respected member of the Salvation Army at Yarrawonga. I have been told that William’s daughter who was my grandmother also was a member and wore a Salvation Army uniform. But I haven’t been able to confirm this. As she died when my father was a small child, he has very little memory of his mother.
from Salvation Army publication ‘War Cry, February 8, 1896: Brother Taylor, our colour sergeant lives about five miles out, but he is at the meetings as often as possible, and is always ready to give his testimony and warn the people to prepare for death, judgment, and eternity. About ten miles from Yarrawonga, at Bundalong, the corps – Mulwala, New South Wales. The people there help well and are supplied with War Crys etc. weekly. At present the spiritual conditon of the corps is very good.
from Yarrawonga Mercury, November 23, 1905: Another old and respected resident of the district, Mr. William Taylor, died at the residence of his two sisters, in Telford Street, Yarrawonga, early on Monday last, 20th inst. About 25 years ago Mr. Taylor took up a selection of land at Bundalong, where he brought up a rather large family. He was aged 64 years at the time of his death, and for the past 17 years had been an active member of the Salvation Army at Yarrawonga, taking a leading part in the open air services of that body. He was a kindly dispositioned man, well liked by his neighbours and those who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. The funeral took place on Tuesday last, when the body of the deceased was placed at rest in the Yarrawonga Cemetery, the funeral service being read by Ensign Watkins of Benalla, Mr. S. T. Bowles, attending to the mortuary arrangements.
My family research took me to the Salvation Army Archives centre where I found the staff there to be incredibly helpful. This blog post has reminded me that I need to go there again for further information and to tie up a few loose ends in my research.