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T: Nurse Faye Taylor – London Air Raid #AtoZChallenge

April 23, 2021

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is an annual challenge put out to bloggers, to publish a post from A-Z, every day in April, except for Sundays. April 1 is A, and so on throughout the month. Participants can post on a chosen theme or just do random posts with no theme at all. The theme I have chosen for 2021 is Newspaper Articles About My Family Found in Trove. Trove is the electronic archive for newspapers, books, magazines, photos and much more.

Nurse Faye Taylor

Faye Louisa TAYLOR (known as Fanny) was born in 1882, at Bundalong, Victoria. Her parents, were James TAYLOR and Emily Louisa PEARCE. She trained as a nurse at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and served as a nurse in World War 1.

The following report is an account of an air raid in London that Nurse Taylor wrote to her sister in Gundagai.

London Air Raid

From: The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser (NSW : 1868 – 1931), p. 2.

London Air Raid.

Nurse Taylor, with the Australian nurses abroad, writing to her sister in Gundagai, giving a graphic description of a recent air raid on London, says :—

We had a severe raid here last week- mostly Zepps. A very silent danger, as they must have shut the engines off. I had been in to the theatre and we went to the Troc. for supper. It was a peculiar feeling, a noise like a train going over a bridge, a thud, screams, falling glass, and then another thud in the distance. We rushed out, but could, of course, see nothing. Special constables ushered us into tubes for safety, but Fitz., being a doctor, offered his services, so I struggled home alone, and it was ‘some’ struggle.

You’ve no idea how terrified the people are. Men, women, and children just crowd into the, tubes and make them a very inferno. The closeness and the smell almost kills one. Babies in arms, dirty women, some with babies and some carrying dogs, just stampede. I did want to stay on top and help, but being a woman I was bundled down and didn’t get home till after 1 o’clock. One couldn’t get near the trains.

Of course, one can’t blame the people, I suppose. I tried to hearten up some poor mothers huddled up near me, and said, ‘Just try and be worthy of our men who are under that every minute and every second,’ and then one said, ‘But the poor little children, it is so awful for them.’ I said,’ ‘Yes, but the most awful thing for the children is to be brought up little cowards when their fathers are doing so much. Didn’t they think the mothers could help also, just by being calm. ‘Poor thing’.

I am afraid it was almost useless, but they, commenced talking of other things, and asked me questions about my home, my brothers, and Australia, and presently the ‘All clear’ was sounded and they went up stairs again, while I pushed and struggled to get into a carriage. We are expecting a ‘beauty’ tonight. There is an arsenel near here (Southall), and if they manage to hit that, it will be good-bye for all of us. There is no where for us to evacuate to, but daresay we would have to ‘dig in’ out on the lawn.

Thanks to fellow family researcher, Peter Toohey, for willingly photos.

London Air Raid. (1917, December 18). The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser (NSW : 1868 – 1931), p. 2. Retrieved March 5, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article123535376

#AtoZChallenge 2021 badge

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8 Comments
  1. I associate London air raids with WW2. Nurse Taylor wrote very vividly of her experience.

  2. And who was Fitz.?

  3. Arlee Bird permalink

    That is a well detailed account. Interesting how this news was conveyed to the other side of the world to appear in a newspaper there.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  4. An excellent description of such a terrifying event but what was she thinking to say that to the mothers?! Much better to have the chat about Australia that was a good distraction. Still wonderful to have such an evocative report.

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