People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Taylor, Lucy Melena (1897–1953)

Lucy Taylor, 1923

Lucy Taylor, 1923

photo provided by family

In Lucy’s own words, to picture Gwalia, Western Australia is to ‘imagine you are coming to the world’s end’.[1] 830km north-east of Perth on the eastern edge of the Great Victoria Desert, it would be much to Lucy Melena Hyatt’s chagrin that an account of her life should centre around the sweltering, isolated and dust storm prone town with which she endured a well-documented love-hate relationship.[2] To ignore Gwalia, however, would do a disservice to the impact it had not only on the lives of Lucy, Harry and Frank Taylor during their time as residents, but nationally as the site of one of Australia’s most prosperous mines of the 20th Century. 

Early Years
Born on 23 December 1897 in Morgan, South Australia, Lucy is likely to have spent her early years playing in the blacksmithing workshops of her father, Alfred Hyatt, who worked in partnership with her uncle, Herbert Dennis, or perhaps out the front of the house they all shared together on Fourth Street with her mother, Agatha, and older sister Jean.[3]

In quick succession, the Hyatt family grew to a family of six with the births of Lucy’s two younger sisters, Thelma and Violet.[4] Although Lucy would surely have been delighted at the arrival of these new playmates, any childlike joy was cut short by the death of her mother, Agatha, just two days after the birth of Violet on the 8th of May from ‘an epileptic fit soon after childbirth’.[5] Agatha was just twenty-eight years old. 

Whether a reaction to his own grief, the worsening economic climate in South Australia or a combination of other factors, we will never know precisely what motivated Alfred Hyatt to uproot his young family and move them to the other side of the country, leaving both his business partnership and tight family network behind.[6] Arriving in Fremantle, Western Australia on the 20th of July, the Hyatt family took up residence in Midland Junction where Alfred commenced work for the Railways Department as a blacksmith.[7] In 1905, five years after the death of Lucy’s mother, Alfred remarried, to Ellen Jane Penglase in Guildford.[8] Ellen is the younger sister of Charlotte Rebecca Penglase, who was married to Lucy’s uncle, Herbert Dennis, back in South Australia. With the youngest, Violet, just three years old, Ellen stepped in as a mother figure to the girls as the family expanded further with the birth of Alfred Junior.[9] In this new chapter of their lives, education was clearly valued with all five of the Hyatt children attending Midland Junction Central School, passing their examinations for each educational standard, and even winning prizes for their perfect attendance.[10]

Flash forward to 1927 and Lucy was working as a tailor in Midland Junction, where on the 31st of December she married Harry Taylor at the Church of Ascension in front of more than one-hundred and fifty well-wishers.[11]

Born in Middlesex, England in 1901, Harry migrated to Western Australia with his father William, mother Ada Florence, and brothers Jack and Frank in 1911.[12] At the time of their marriage, Harry had freshly graduated from the West Australian School of Mines and was living in Gwalia working as a professional fireman, potentially waiting for a vacancy on the Sons of Gwalia Mine.[13] Rather than slowing to a halt with the economic crisis of the late 1920s, the mine prospered in light of the widely available workforce and skyrocketing price of gold.[14]

A final occasion of opulence before a radical readjustment to rural life, the Taylor-Hyatt wedding marked the beginning of a new chapter for Lucy.[15] It is likely that, mixed with the elation of marriage and experiences to come, Lucy was also apprehensive at the prospect of having to build a new life for herself for the second time since she was a child, as barely a week later the newlyweds made the long journey from Perth to Gwalia, Western Australia where Lucy would spend the remainder of her life. [16]

Life in Gwalia
Far from the quaint brick home Lucy was leaving behind, ‘Gwalia was a town of timber and corrugated iron’ where the houses were lined with whitewashed hessian that brought all of the red dirt in while keeping none of the raging weather out.[17]  Upon seeing these dishevelled homes for the first time, Lucy’s close friend Nancy (Rob) Colombo, in all sincerity, mistook them for sheds, and recalls her disbelief at being corrected.[18] Gwalia, as a (never-officially-recognised) town, was ‘always in flux, waxing and quickly waning with the profitability’ of the Sons of Gwalia mine around which it revolved.[19] No longer enveloped by a bustling population of six-thousand as she was in Midland, at the time of Lucy’s arrival there were less than one-thousand residents between Gwalia and the closest town, Leonora, combined. As a resident, Lucy’s time in Gwalia can be characterised by three main themes – motherhood, womanhood, and community – each having a greatly differing, yet significant, impact upon her life there.

Running parallel to her induction into rural life, another journey began for Lucy shortly after her arrival in Gwalia with Harry, that of becoming a mother. Having been just old enough to recall the circumstances of her mother’s death and the stillbirth of her half-sister, one can assume with relative certainty that the excitement of Lucy’s pregnancy would have been clouded by worry as to whether past events would repeat themselves. Unfortunately, these concerns came to fruition on the 4th of October 1928 with the stillbirth of Lucy and Harry’s first child, Kathleen Ellen Taylor, following a protracted labour.[20] Barely a year later, however, Lucy’s journey into motherhood had its second start with the arrival of a son, William Alfred Frank (Frank) Taylor (named after Harry’s father, Lucy’s father, and Harry’s brother respectively), on the 13th of December 1929.[21] Not content with accepting the risks of giving birth at home once again, as was the norm in Gwalia, Lucy gave birth to Frank at a private maternity hospital in Perth where he was delivered in perfect health.[22]

Frank’s childhood was a happy one, full of school fetes, costume parades and football matches against the rival team of Leonora, all of which Lucy enthusiastically assisted in organising along with the other mothers of Gwalia.[23] It was the love she had for Frank, however, and a recognition of the limitations of remaining in Gwalia, that made Lucy insist Frank ‘get out’ and build a life elsewhere, beginning with him being sent to Scotch College for boarding school in Perth.[24] After this came to pass, however, Harry and Lucy were given another chance to embrace their maternal and paternal natures with their next-door neighbours’ daughter, Jennifer Colombo, by whom they were so loved that she referred to them as ‘Mummy and Daddy Tay’.[25] It becomes clear that, in these ways, Lucy Taylor went through three distinct chapters of motherhood– losing her daughter, having her son and then acting as a mother figure to Jennifer after Frank had left Gwalia, through which she would have experienced the full range of emotions parenthood could possibly offer.

‘Interviewer: “What did the women do?”
Alec Colombo: “Stay at home.”’[26]

To be a woman in Gwalia was hard work. With the entire town revolving around the Sons of Gwalia Mine, there was little opportunity for the women of Gwalia to take up an occupation outside of the home. While her sister, Thelma, was qualifying as a teacher in Perth and travelling abroad to England, census records show that Lucy, like almost every woman in Gwalia, was on ‘home duties’.[27]

Without access to the emerging domestic technologies of the city, running a home was a feat of physical (and undoubtedly, mental) strength in and of itself. One load of washing could take up to two days to complete, as the women of Gwalia used scrubbing boards, boiled the copper, continuously skimmed the build-up of sediment off their tubs of water and then battled red dirt, dust storms and spontaneous torrential downpours in the drying process.[28] Given that their sons and husbands were almost exclusively miners, one can assume these clothes would not have remained pristine for very long.

Acknowledgement of the above is not to say that Lucy herself was unhappy. Indeed, when writing to her future daughter-in-law Elaine Margaret Fairweather about her life in Gwalia, she accepted that ‘this is the case of [moving] where your husband’s work is, you have to be content to go with him and on the whole we have been happy together and that is the main thing.’[29]

Where the women of Gwalia were limited in occupation, they found outlets for their skills and passions via association, and the various ways in which they came together to support the local community. Throughout her 25 years in Gwalia, Lucy was ‘an active worker for Church and charity,’ playing a pivotal role in founding both the Church of England Ladies Guild and the Gwalia-Leonora branch of the Country Women’s Association (CWA).[30] Much more than an excuse to gather for tea and sandwiches, the women of these organisations raised money for various charitable causes, offered support to families who were struggling and became the backbone of Gwalian social life through the planning of community balls and dances.[31]

When World War II broke out in 1939, the full support of these organisations, as well as the Camp Comforts Organisation, Red Cross Society and the R.S.L Women’s Auxiliary which Lucy subsequently joined, was thrown behind the national cause.[32] Like thousands of other women who were unable to join the war effort due to geography or circumstance, the women of Gwalia put their time and energy into raising funds, upholding their social obligations, arranging funerals, looking after their own families and supporting those in the community who had lost their husbands or fathers to internment.[33] In 1941, the Gwalia CWA raised £25 ‘in aid of the seamen who suffered untold horrors’ at war, equivalent to almost $2,500AUD in today’s currency. [34] Not only were these amounts impactful to the local community and beyond, the way these women came together with no income of their own and amassed these sums through sheer determination alone, demonstrates the fortitude and dedication with which they operated. They did, of course, also make time for ‘a dainty afternoon tea’ following every meeting.[35]

Final Years and Beyond
Three weeks before Lucy’s sudden death in 1953, she was recounting the mining accident that left her husband, Harry, in hospital with a broken leg in one of her many letters to Frank and Elaine in the lead up to their December wedding.[36] To Elaine on the 31st of March, Lucy explains how she was ‘woken up by Rob [Colombo] just after 6am…to be told [Harry] had met with an accident and had been taken to hospital with a broken leg.’[37] Although there was a brief mention of Lucy needing to go to hospital herself in a letter two weeks prior for ‘a little rest’ and some injections, the main topic of correspondence swiftly returned to the impending nuptials with no indication of serious concern nor suffering.[38] On the 22nd of April 1953, however, Lucy Taylor passed away from hypertensive cardiac failure and broncho pneumonia at just 55 years old, while Harry was still recovering in hospital.[39] Lucy now rests in the Leonora Cemetery three kilometres from Gwalia with some of the town’s most well-known characters and, most importantly, her daughter Kathleen Ellen.[40]

Following a mining accident in December of 1963, during which Harry’s inattention caused more damage than the struggling Sons of Gwalia Mine could repair, the final closure saw a mass exodus of residents from the town.[41] Essentially taking what they could carry and moving on to find work elsewhere, the population plummeted from 1,200 to just 40 in under three weeks. Today, Gwalia stands as one of ‘Australia’s greatest living ghost towns’ due to the extensive collection of furniture and personal belongings that were left behind in this rush.[42]

Although the house may no longer stand where Lucy and Harry raised Frank, nor the hall where the CWA held vibrant dances and jumble sales, there will always be something of Lucy and Harry Taylor in Gwalia. [43] Following a series of heritage grants awarded to the Shire of Leonora, several of the miners’ cottages have since been restored to their former (albeit ramshackle) glory, and the Gwalia Museum collection expanded to encompass the life stories of the town’s residents.[44] While Lucy herself may have laughed and cried in equal measure had she known her history would one day be housed in Gwalia, a selection of photographs, letters, newspaper clippings and anecdotes has been provided to the Gwalia Museum to ensure that the connection she, Harry and Frank had to the town is not forgotten. Though not an easy life, one cannot deny the profound impact that Gwalia had on Lucy Melena Taylor in the latter half of her life, as a woman, as a mother, and as a dedicated member of a tight-knit community.

Timeline

18 May 1869 – Alfred Hyatt born in Strathalbyn, South Australia.[45]

1871 – Alexander Forrest leads an expedition from Perth to the Goldfields.[46]

21 August 1871 – William Henry Taylor born in Oxfordshire, England.[47]

8 February 1873 – Ada Florence Kyberd born in Middlesex, England.[48]

29 March 1873 – Agatha Melena Dennis born in Shepherds Bush, England.[49]

28 November 1876 – Agatha Melena Dennis, aged 3, arrives in Port Adelaide on board the Duntrune.[50]

12 March 1895 – Marriage of Agatha Melena Dennis and Alfred Hyatt in Port Broughton, South Australia.[51]

28 April 1896 – Anness Jean Hyatt (sister of Lucy) born in Morgan, South Australia.[52]

1897 – Sons of Gwalia Ltd is created, work commences at the Sons of Gwalia Mine.[53]

23 December 1897 – Lucy Melena Hyatt born in Morgan, South Australia.[54]

1898 – Alfred Hyatt and Herbert Dennis (brother of Agatha) in business together, applying for patents to their blacksmith inventions.[55]

30 July 1898 – Marriage of Ada Florence Kyberd and William Henry Taylor in ­­­Clerkenwell, England.[56]

1899 – Jack Taylor (brother of Harry) born in Middlesex, England.[57]

17 February 1900 – Birth of Thelma Dorris Hyatt (sister of Lucy) in Morgan, South Australia.[58]

6 May 1901 – Birth of Violet Lenna Hyatt (sister of Lucy) in Morgan, South Australia.[59]

8 May 1901 – Death of Agatha Melena Dennis, aged 28 years old of an ‘epileptic fit soon after childbirth’.[60]

10 October 1901 – Birth of Harry Taylor in Middlesex, England.[61]

1902 – Alfred Hyatt, along with his four daughters Lucy, Jean, Thelma and Violet move to Western Australia.[62]

12 May 1902 – Alfred Hyatt commences work for the Railways Department of Western Australia as a blacksmith.[63]

1903 – Birth of Frank Taylor (brother of Harry) in Middlesex, England.[64]

1903 – Western Australia’s first government-owned hotel opens in Gwalia.[65]

1905 – Alfred Hyatt marries Ellen Jane Penglase in Guildford, Western Australia.[66]

1906 – Birth of Alfred John Hyatt (half-brother to Lucy) in Western Australia.[67]

20 December 1908 – Birth and death of Lydia Ellen Hyatt (half-sister to Lucy) in Western Australia.[68]

1911 – Population of Leonora (1,154) exceeds that of Gwalia (1,114) for the first time.[69]

18 March 1911 – Migration of Ada Florence, William, Harry, Frank and Jack Taylor to Western Australia.[70]

19 May 1911 – Death of Jane Hyatt (neé Dochety, grandmother of Lucy) aged 74 years.[71]

22 August 1911 – Death of Jack Taylor, aged 12 years, in Guildford, Western Australia.[72]Cause unable to be obtained through public records.

August 1914 – Australia’s involvement in World War I begins.

January 1915 – Taylor family (Ada, William, Harry, Jack and Frank) migrate to Australia, arriving in Fremantle.[73]

1917-1921 – Harry Taylor attends the Kalgoorlie School of Mines, Western Australia.[74]

11 November 1918 – Armistice signed, World War I officially comes to an end.

1 September 1919 – William Henry Taylor dies suddenly in Albany, Western Australia aged 48 years from chronic asthma and cardiac failure.[75]

January 1920 – Thelma Hyatt appointed teacher at Midland Junction Central School. [76]

1924 – Harry Taylor achieves his Diploma of Associate of the School of Mines of Western Australia in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.[77]

1925 – Lucy’s occupation listed as ‘tailoress’ on electoral roll.[78]

January 1921 – Fire destroys half of the Sons of Gwalia Mine, 400 men are laid off. Population of Leonora and Gwalia combined drops below 1,000. [79]

1923 – Sons of Gwalia mine reopens seeing an influx of new residents, expansion of the Co-Operative Store and butcher’s shop opened.[80] Mineral production in Western Australia is valued at $18,217,502,611.[81]

31 December 1927 – Marriage of Lucy Melena Hyatt and Harry Taylor.[82]

January 1928 – Lucy and Harry move to Gwalia, where Harry was living and working as a professional fireman.[83]

4 October 1928 – Lucy and Harry’s first child, Kathleen E. Taylor is stillborn in Leonora, Western Australia.[84]

24 October 1929 – Wall Street crash triggers the Great Depression.

13 December 1929 – Birth of William Alfred Frank (Frank) Taylor in Perth, Western Australia. Harry working as an Engine Driver, most likely on the Sons of Gwalia Mine. [85]

February 1934 – Goldfield Riots break out in Kalgoorlie[86]

September 1939 – Australia’s involvement in World War II begins. Italian nationals living in Gwalia interned.[87]

April 1942 – Families in Gwalia prepare air raid trenches in case of an attack. [88]

August 1942 – Sons of Gwalia Mine remains open, but with 160 men lost to the war effort. [89]

2 September 1945 – World War II comes to an end.

9 September 1950 – Death of Alfred Hyatt, aged 81 years in Western Australia.[90]

29 September 1952 – Engagement of Elaine Fairweather and Frank Taylor announced.[91]

22 April 1953 – Death of Lucy Taylor, aged 55, from cardiac failure and pneumonia in Leonora, Western Australia.[92]

5 December 1953 – Marriage of Frank Taylor and Elaine Margaret Fairweather, Drummoyne, New South Wales.[93]

12 January 1955 – Birth of Melena Marguerite Taylor, granddaughter of Lucy, in Perth, Western Australia.[94]

1957 – Gwalia Co-Operative store is closed, general store is relocated to Leonora.[95]

18 August 1957 – Birth of Lee Taylor, grandson of Lucy, in Perth, Western Australia. [96]

1958 – Gwalia Picture Theatre closes.[97]

6 March 1961 – Birth of twins Janine Heather and Brian Mark Taylor (grandchildren of Lucy) in Perth, Western Australia. Death of Brian Mark Taylor.[98]

21 December 1963 – Harry Taylor accident as Winder Driver signals final nail in the coffin of the Sons of Gwalia Mine. Closure of Mine, 250 employees made redundant, Gwalia vacated by residents to find work elsewhere.[99] In the three weeks following, the population of Gwalia dropped from approximately 1,200 to 40.[100]

23 June 1965 – Ada Florence Taylor dies, age 92, in Perth, Western Australia.[101]

30 June 1979 – Harry Taylor presented with Prayer Book in recognition of ‘over 30 years’ service as a Lay Reader in the Diocese of Kalgoorlie’.[102]

26 January 1980 – Death of Frank Taylor (Harry’s brother), aged 78 years, in Perth, Western Australia.[103]

5 October 1981 – Death of Harry Taylor in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, aged 80 years.[104]

Appendices:

  • More precise information on the movements of Ellen Jane Penglase, particularly what year she came to live in Western Australia, was not able to be obtained via interstate passenger lists nor electoral records.
  • Given the vast differences between their professions and where they were living at the time, it seems surprising that the Lucy Hyatt and Harry Taylor would meet, let alone socialise in such proximity to form a relationship and eventually marry. The hometowns of Harry’s parents and Agatha Melena Dennis’ (Lucy’s mother) are approximately 10km apart, so there is potential for a family association to have originated here. This was unable to be proven through parish records, marriages further back in time, passenger lists, census records or electoral rolls.

Bibliography

  • 1898 Marriage Solemnised at (Illegible) Church in the Parish of Cerkenwell in the County of London. London, England, 1898.
  • Agatha Melena Dennis. Morgan, South Australia, 1901.
  • Alfred Hyatt. State Records Office of Western Australia, Australia, 1902.
  • Alfred Hyatt Jnr. Perth, Western Australia, 1906.
  • Ancestry.com. Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980, “Lucy Melena Hyatt”. Guildford, Swan, Western Australia, Australia, 1925.
  • "Anglican Church: Diocesan Board of Education Examination Results." West Australian (Perth, WA), 26 December 1914, 11. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28578907.
  • Anness Jean Hyatt. Kapunda, South Australia, 1896.
  • Australia, Death Index, 1787-1985. Swan, Western Australia, 1908.
  • Australia, Marriage Index, 1788-1950. Guildford, Western Australia, 1905.
  • Baxter, Stella. "Interviews with Stella Baxter in 2003 and 2006." By Patrick Bertola. Wed Jan 01 2003.
  • "Bereavement." Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 7 May 1953, 5. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article208096976.
  • Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography: Australian National University.
  • Certificate of Marriage: Lucy Melena Hyatt and Harry Taylor. Western Australia, 1927.
  • Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915 for William Henry Taylor. Oxfordshire, England, 1871.
  • Colombo, Alec. "Interview with Alexander (Alec) Colombo in 2004." by Criena Fitzgerald. Mining the past, uncovering Gwalia and Leonora. 31 July 2004. 1-70.
  • Colombo, Robbie. "Interview with Nancy (Robbie) Colombo in 2008 and 2009." By Julie Lunn and Criena Fitzgerald. Mining the past, uncovering Gwalia and Leonora. 2008. 1-70.
  • "Country Women’s Association." Northern Grazier and Miner (Leonora, WA), 19 June 1943, 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article257649834.
  • "Country Women’s Association." Inland Watch (Leonora, WA), 18 October 1941, 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article260704479.
  • Death Certificate of Alfred Hyatt. Perth, Western Australia, 1950.
  • Death Certificate of Jane Hyatt (Née Dochety). Morgan, South Australia, 1911.
  • "2019 Western Australian Heritage Awards Winners: Shire of Leonora." Heritage Awards, 2019, accessed 14 September 2021, https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/information-and-services/historic-heritage/heritage-grants-and-incentives/heritage-awards/2019-western-australian-heritage-awards-winners/contribution-by-a-public-or-private-organisation.
  • Digital Image S.V. “Ada Kyberd”.
  • Digital Image S.V. “Agatha Dennis”.
  • England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915. Brentford, England, 1873.
  • Extract from Death Entry: Harry Taylor. Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, 1981.
  • "Fairweather - Taylor." Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 25 February 1953, 5. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206656201.
  • "Family Notices." West Australian (Perth, WA), 24 August 1911, 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26349108.
  • "Family Notices." Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 29 November 1952, 44. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27529382.
  • "Family Notices." Western Mail (Perth, WA), 11 October 1928, 42. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38375972.
  • "Family Notices." Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA), 13 May 1901, ONE O'CLOCK EDITION, 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207946437.
  • Frank Stanley Taylor, England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915. Wandsworth, London, 1903.
  • ‘Frank Taylor’ in the Australian Death Index, 1787-1985. Perth, Western Australia, 1980.
  • Fremantle, Western Australia, Passenger Lists, 1897-1963. 1901.
  • "Grave of Ellen Kathleen Taylor." Leonora Cemetery Western Australia, accessed 5 October 2021, https://www.outbackfamilyhistory.com.au/records/record.php?record_id=258&town=Leonora.
  • Harry Taylor, Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth. Somerset, London, 1901.
  • Harry Taylor, Diploma in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. 12 March 1924. Certificate. Mines Department, School of Mines of Western Australia, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
  • Holy Bible, ‘Presented to H. Taylor as a Mark of Appreciation for over 30 Years’ Service as a Lay Reader in the Diocese of Kalgoorlie.’. 1979.
  • Hyatt, Herbert Dennis and Alfred. Patent: An Improved Plough Share Consisting of Blade and Socket Piece. Australia Blacksmithing Patent 1899.
  • "June Appeal." Kalgoorlie Miner (WA), 21 June 1943, 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article95190585.
  • King, Norma. Colourful Tales of the Western Australian Goldfields. Adelaide: Rigby, 1980.
  • Layman, Criena Fitzgerald and Lenore, ed. 110 Degrees in the Waterbag : A History of Life, Work and Leisure in Leonora, Gwalia and the Northern Goldfields. Western Australia: Pointbreak Press, 2012.
  • "A Brief History of Gwalia and the Sons of Gwalia Mine." 2021, accessed 14th September, 2021, https://www.leonora.wa.gov.au/visitors/gwalia-museum/brief-history-gwalia-mine.aspx.
  • "Mining Operations - Closure of Sons of Gwalia Mine." 2021, accessed 14 September 2021, https://www.leonora.wa.gov.au/tourism-and-leisure/1930-1963.aspx.
  • Marriage Certificate of Agatha Melena Dennis and Alfred Hyatt. Daly, South Australia: Australia, Marriage Index, 1788-1950, 1895.
  • Mazza, Harry. "Mining the Past, Uncovering Gwalia and Leonora." By Criena Fitzgerald. 2006. 20.
  • McGrath, Jean. "[Interview with Jean Mcgrath] [Sound Recording] / [Interviewed by Colin Puls]." 1976. Transcript.
  • "Midland Junction Central School." Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 19 July 1912, 8. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207344041.
  • Mines, Department of. Annual Report. (Western Australia: 1923).
  • "Taylor, William & Ada." Western Australia Museum Welcome Walls, Government of Western Australia, 2021, accessed 13 October 2021, https://museum.wa.gov.au/welcomewalls/names/taylor-william-ada.
  • "News in Brief." Northern Grazier and Miner (Leonora, WA), 3 February 1934, 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article257573450.
  • "Obituary." Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 21 September 1950, 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article208089184.
  • "Passengers of the Duntrune: 05/08/1876 - 29/11/1876." South Australian Maritime Museum, accessed 20 September 2021, https://passengers.history.sa.gov.au/node/943511.
  • Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State of Western Australia. "Lucy Melena Taylor." Death Certificate.  (22nd April 1953).
  • Reid, Don. "Leonora & Gwalia : An Historical Sketchbook / by Don & Donna Reid." 1976.
  • "Social & Personal." Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 28 March 1930, 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206638543.
  • South Australian Births, Index of Registrations 1842 to 1906. South Australia, 1869.
  • Taylor, Lucy. Letter to Elaine Fairweather. 4 December 1952. Taylor Family Private Collection.
  • ———. Letter to Elaine Fairweather. 4 January 1953. Taylor Family Private Collection.
  • ———. Letter to Elaine Fairweather. 13 October 1952. Taylor Family Private Collection.
  • ———. Letter to Elaine Fairweather. 31 March 1953. Taylor Family Private Collection.
  • Thelma Doris Hyatt. Kapunda, South Australia, 1900.
  • Turnbull, C. W. F. "Gwalia - Leonora, W.A : Random Notes, 1895-1963 / Compiled C.W.F. Turnbull." 1988.
  • "The Unemployed Difficulty." Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), 5 November 1901, 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4912505.
  • Violet Lenna Hyatt. Morgan, South Australia, 1901.
  • "Wedding Bells." Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 20 January 1928, 5. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206631119.
  • Western Australia, Australia, Crew and Passenger Lists, 1852-1930. 1911.
  • "What Women Are Doing." West Australian (Perth, WA), 28 August 1941, 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47158427.
  • William Alfred Frank Taylor, Certified Copy of an Entry in a Register of Births. Perth, Western Australia, 1929.
  • William Henry Taylor, Certified Copy of Register of Death. Western Australia, 1919.

[1] Lucy Taylor, Letter to Elaine Fairweather, 4 December 1952, Taylor Family Private Collection.

[2] Lucy Taylor, Letter to Elaine Fairweather, 4 January 1953, Taylor Family Private Collection.

[3] Alfred Hyatt, Lucy’s father, was born on 18 May 1869 in Strathalbyn, South Australia.

Agatha Melena Hyatt (née Dennis) was born in Shepherd’s Bush, England on 29 March 1871, migrating to Australia onboard the Duntrune in 1876.

Anness Jean (Jean) Hyatt, the couple’s first child, was born on 28 April 1896 in Morgan, South Australia.

England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915,  (Brentford, England 1873). "Passengers of the Duntrune: 05/08/1876 - 29/11/1876," South Australian Maritime Museum, accessed 20 September 2021, https://passengers.history.sa.gov.au/node/943511; Anness Jean Hyatt,  (Kapunda, South Australia 1896).  Herbert Dennis and Alfred Hyatt. Patent: An improved plough share consisting of blade and socket piece. Australia 1899.

[4] Thelma Doris Hyatt,  (Kapunda, South Australia 1900); Violet Lenna Hyatt,  (Morgan, South Australia 1901); Agatha Melena Dennis,  (Morgan, South Australia 1901).

[5] Agatha Melena Dennis,  (Morgan, South Australia 1901)."Family Notices," Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA), 13 May 1901, ONE O'CLOCK EDITION, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207946437.

[6] "THE UNEMPLOYED DIFFICULTY," Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), 5 November 1901, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4912505.

[7] Fremantle, Western Australia, Passenger Lists, 1897-1963,  (1901); Ancestry.com, Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980, “Lucy Melena Hyatt”,  (Guildford, Swan, Western Australia, Australia 1925); Alfred Hyatt,  (State Records Office of Western Australia, Australia, 1902).

[8] Australia, Marriage Index, 1788-1950 (Guildford, Western Australia 1905).

[9] Alfred Hyatt Jnr. (Perth, Western Australia 1906).

[10] "MIDLAND JUNCTION CENTRAL SCHOOL," Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 19 July 1912, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207344041; "ANGLICAN CHURCH: DIOCESAN BOARD OF EDUCATION EXAMINATION RESULTS," West Australian (Perth, WA), 26 December 1914, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28578907.

[11] "WEDDING BELLS," Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 20 January 1928, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206631119; Ancestry.com, Short Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980, “Lucy Melena Hyatt”.

[12] "TAYLOR, William & Ada," Western Australia Museum Welcome Walls, Government of Western Australia, 2021, accessed 13 October 2021, https://museum.wa.gov.au/welcomewalls/names/taylor-william-ada; Harry Taylor, Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth,  (Somerset, London 1901); Western Australia, Australia, Crew and Passenger Lists, 1852-1930,  (1911).

[13] Harry Taylor, Diploma in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, 12th March 1924, Certificate, Mines Department, School of Mines of Western Australia, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

[14] Criena Fitzgerald and Lenore Layman, ed., 110 Degrees in the Waterbag : a history of life, work and leisure in Leonora, Gwalia and the Northern Goldfields (Western Australia: Pointbreak Press, 2012), 111.

[15] ‘The bride, who was given away by her gather, looked very dainty in a long frock of ivory georgette, with opalescent and crystal trimmings. Her long court train was of white satin, lined with shell pink and trimmed with tiger lilies appliqued in silver tissue. She wore the customary wreath and veil, and carried a shower bouquet of roses and carnations, with maidenhair fern.’ - "WEDDING BELLS.."

[16] "WEDDING BELLS."

[17] Don Reid, "Leonora & Gwalia : an historical sketchbook / by Don & Donna Reid," (1976), 15.

[18] “…and this is what I said, “Oh, look at all those sheds!” And he said, “Good God, woman, they’re the houses!””

Robbie Colombo, "Interview with Nancy (Robbie) Colombo in 2008 and 2009," interview by Julie Lunn and Criena Fitzgerald, Mining the past, uncovering Gwalia and Leonora, 2008, 9.

[19] Layman, 110 Degrees in the Waterbag, 31.

[20] "Grave of Ellen Kathleen Taylor," Leonora Cemetery Western Australia, accessed 5 October, 2021, https://www.outbackfamilyhistory.com.au/records/record.php?record_id=258&town=Leonora.

[21] William Alfred Frank Taylor, Certified Copy of an Entry in a Register of Births,  (Perth, Western Australia 1929).

[22] Jean McGrath, "[Interview with Jean McGrath] [sound recording] / [interviewed by Colin Puls]," (1976), Transcript; William Alfred Frank Taylor, Certified Copy of an Entry in a Register of Births, Short. Stella Baxter, "Interviews with Stella Baxter in 2003 and 2006," interview by Patrick Bertola, Wed Jan 01 2003, 36. Layman, 110 Degrees in the Waterbag, 542.

[23] Layman, 110 Degrees in the Waterbag.

[24] Taylor, Letter to Elaine.

[25] Taylor, Letter to Elaine.

[26] Alec Colombo, "Interview with Alexander (Alec) Colombo in 2004," interview by Criena Fitzgerald, Mining the past, uncovering Gwalia and Leonora, Transcript, 31 July 2004.

[27] "Social & Personal," Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 28 March 1930, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206638543.

[28] ‘The heat, combined with high wind, and the bare state of the country led to dust storms which could blanket the whole area in a red cloud. Keeping a house clean and neat under such circumstances was a constant job for the womenfolk.’ Reid, "Leonora & Gwalia." Colombo, interview.

[29] Taylor, Letter to Elaine.

[30] "Bereavement," Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 7 May 1953, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article208096976.

[31] Baxter, interview.

[32] "Bereavement."; "JUNE APPEAL," Kalgoorlie Miner (WA), 21 June 1943, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article95190585.

[33] Throughout the town’s history, Italian migrants regularly made up over half of the working population. Come World War II, internment of men and the stripping of citizenship from their Australian-born wives threatened to destroy the social and economic fabric of the community.

Norma King, Colourful tales of the Western Australian Goldfields (Adelaide: Rigby, 1980). "WHAT WOMEN ARE DOING," West Australian (Perth, WA), 28 August 1941, 471-83, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47158427; Layman, 110 Degrees in the Waterbag.

[34] "Country Women’s Association," Inland Watch (Leonora, WA), 18 October 1941, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article260704479.

[35] "Country Women’s Association," Northern Grazier and Miner (Leonora, WA), 19 June 1943, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article257649834.

[36] Taylor, Letter to Elaine.

[37] Taylor, Letter to Elaine.

[38] Taylor, Letter to Elaine.

[39] Deaths and Marriages in the State of Western Australia Registry of Births, "Lucy Melena Taylor," Death Certificate,  (22 April 1953).

[40] "Grave of Ellen Kathleen Taylor."

[41]‘Friday 27th December 1963: A bad accident occurred today on the Sons of Gwalia Mine, when the Winder Driver, Mr Harry Taylor, by some error of judgement hauled a loaded ore skip over the top of the Mine Poppet Heads. Extensive damage was done to the Head Frame and the head wheels dislodged… and in view of the extensive cost to repair the damaged Head Frame, it was now decided to close the Mine as from tomorrow and not at the end of the year as previously intended.’

  1. W. F. Turnbull, "Gwalia - Leonora, W.A : random notes, 1895-1963 / compiled C.W.F. Turnbull," (1988), 194.

[42] "A Brief History Of Gwalia And The Sons Of Gwalia Mine," 2021, accessed 14 September 2021, https://www.leonora.wa.gov.au/visitors/gwalia-museum/brief-history-gwalia-mine.aspx.

[43] Kayla Scott, Email message to Maddison Taylor-Gillett Re. Lucy and Harry Taylor - Gwalia Residents ~1920s-1950/60s, 15th October 2021.

[44]‘ The project [aims] to deliver an ambitious works program at Gwalia, including conservation of Gwalia’s Historical Precinct, Museum and Hoover House, reconstruction of the historic timber headframe and preservation of the Gwalia settlement’s 22 traditional miners’ cottages.’

"2019 Western Australian Heritage Awards Winners: Shire of Leonora," Heritage Awards, 2019, accessed 14 September 2021, https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/information-and-services/historic-heritage/heritage-grants-and-incentives/heritage-awards/2019-western-australian-heritage-awards-winners/contribution-by-a-public-or-private-organisation.

[45] South Australian Births, Index of Registrations 1842 to 1906 (South Australia 1869).

[46] G. C. Bolton, " Forrest, Alexander (1849–1901)," in Australian Dictionary of Biography (National Centre of Biography: Australian National University). https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/forrest-alexander-6208/text10671.

[47] Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915 for William Henry Taylor (Oxfordshire, England 1871).

[48] Digital image s.v. “Ada Kyberd”.

[49] Digital image s.v. “Agatha Dennis”.

[50] "Passengers of the Duntrune: 05/08/1876 - 29/11/1876."

[51] Marriage Certificate of Agatha Melena Dennis and Alfred Hyatt (Daly, South Australia: Australia, Marriage Index, 1788-1950, 1895).

[52] Anness Jean Hyatt, Short.

[53] Leonora, "A Brief History Of Gwalia And The Sons Of Gwalia Mine."

[54] Registry of Births, "Lucy Melena Taylor."

[55] Hyatt. Patent: An improved plough share consisting of blade and socket piece.

[56] 1898 Marriage solemnised at (illegible) Church in the Parish of Cerkenwell in the County of London. (London, England 1898).

[57] Frank Stanley Taylor, England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 (Wandsworth, London 1903).

[58] Thelma Doris Hyatt, Short.

[59] Violet Lenna Hyatt, Short.

[60] Agatha Melena Dennis, Short.

[61] Harry Taylor, Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth, Short.

[62] Fremantle, Western Australia, Passenger Lists, 1897-1963, Short.

[63] Alfred Hyatt, Short.

[64] Frank Stanley Taylor, England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915, Short.

[65] Leonora, "A Brief History Of Gwalia And The Sons Of Gwalia Mine."

[66] Australia, Marriage Index, 1788-1950, Short.

[67] Alfred Hyatt, Short.

[68] Australia, Death Index, 1787-1985, (Swan, Western Australia 1908).

[69] Leonora, "A Brief History Of Gwalia And The Sons Of Gwalia Mine."

[70] Western Australia, Australia, Crew and Passenger Lists, 1852-1930, Short.

[71] Death Certificate of Jane Hyatt (née Dochety),  (Morgan, South Australia 1911).

[72] "Family Notices," West Australian (Perth, WA), 24 August 1911, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26349108.

[73] Museum, "TAYLOR, William & Ada."

[74] Harry Taylor, Diploma in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.

[75] William Henry Taylor, Certified Copy of Register of Death (Western Australia 1919).

[76] "Social & Personal."

[77] Harry Taylor, Diploma in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.

[78] Ancestry.com, Short Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980, “Lucy Melena Hyatt”.

[79] Leonora, "A Brief History Of Gwalia And The Sons Of Gwalia Mine."

[80] Leonora, "A Brief History Of Gwalia And The Sons Of Gwalia Mine."

[81] Department of Mines, Annual Report (Western Australia, 1923).

[82] "WEDDING BELLS.."; Certificate of Marriage: Lucy Melena Hyatt and Harry Taylor (Western Australia 1927).

[83] Certificate of Marriage: Lucy Melena Hyatt and Harry Taylor, Short.

[84] "Grave of Ellen Kathleen Taylor."; "Family Notices," Western Mail (Perth, WA), 11 October 1928, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38375972.

[85] William Alfred Frank Taylor, Certified Copy of an Entry in a Register of Births, Short.

[86] ‘A wild outbreak of mob vengeance against the foreign community in Kalgoorlie on, Monday night, later extending to Boulder, resulted in the wrecking, looting, and burning of several building occupied or owned by foreigners.’ - "NEWS IN BRIEF," Northern Grazier and Miner (Leonora, WA), 3 February 1934, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article257573450.

[87] "Mining Operations - Closure Of Sons Of Gwalia Mine," 2021, accessed 14 September 2021, https://www.leonora.wa.gov.au/tourism-and-leisure/1930-1963.aspx.

[88] Turnbull, "Gwalia - Leonora, W.A," 168.

[89] Turnbull, "Gwalia - Leonora, W.A," 168.

[90] Death Certificate of Alfred Hyatt,  (Perth, Western Australia 1950); "OBITUARY," Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 21 September 1950, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article208089184.

[91] "Family Notices," Sydney Morning Herald, 29 November 1952, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27529382.

[92] Registry of Births, "Lucy Melena Taylor."

[93] "FAIRWEATHER - TAYLOR," Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 25 February 1953, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206656201.

[94] Current living relative, birth certificate not yet available via public records.

[95] Leonora, "A Brief History Of Gwalia And The Sons Of Gwalia Mine."

[96] Current living relative, birth certificate not yet available via public records.

[97] Leonora, "A Brief History Of Gwalia And The Sons Of Gwalia Mine."

[98] Current living relative, birth certificate not yet available via public records.

[99] Harry Mazza, "Mining the past, uncovering Gwalia and Leonora," interview by Criena Fitzgerald, 2006.

[100] Leonora, "A Brief History Of Gwalia And The Sons Of Gwalia Mine."

[101] Australia, Death Index, 1787-1985, Short.

[102] Holy Bible, ‘Presented to H. Taylor as a mark of appreciation for over 30 years’ service as a Lay Reader in the Diocese of Kalgoorlie.’,  (1979).

[103] ‘Frank Taylor’ in the Australian Death Index, 1787-1985  (Perth, Western Australia 1980).

[104] Extract from Death Entry: Harry Taylor (Kalgoorlie, Western Australia 1981).

Citation details

'Taylor, Lucy Melena (1897–1953)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/taylor-lucy-melena-32211/text39829, accessed 21 January 2022.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Lucy Taylor, 1923

Lucy Taylor, 1923

photo provided by family

More images

pic pic pic

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Hyatt, Lucy Melena
Birth

23 December 1897
Morgan, South Australia, Australia

Death

22 April 1953
Leonora, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

pneumonia

Cultural Heritage
Education
Occupation