Francis Leonard Cyril TAYLER (1905–1934)
His father Francis Henry TAYLER (1875–1944),
His mother Mrs Ellen TAYLER, née LONG (1872–1963),
His wife Mrs Phyllis Constance TAYLER, née DICKENSON (1906–2000)
His sister Mrs Margaret G. Joyce KNIGHT, née TAYLER (1912–2009)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 41, Grave N55
Treasured are the memories of
FRANCIS L. C. TAYLER,
DEARLY LOVED HUSBAND OF PHYLLIS TAYLER,
AND DEVOTED ONLY SON OF F. & E. TAYLER,
WHO SACRIFICED HIS LIFE
IN THE FULFILLMENT OF HIS DUTY
29TH MAY 1934. AGED 28 YEARS.
LOVING AND KIND IN ALL HIS WAYS
UPRIGHT AND JUST TO THE END OF HIS DAYS
SINCERE AND TRUE IN HEART AND MIND
SUCH BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES LEFT BEHIND
On front kerb: “ABIDE WITH ME.”
On side kerbs:
ALSO FRANCIS HENRY, HIS BELOVED FATHER WHO DIED FEBRUARY 7TH 1944 AGED 68 YEARS.
AND ELLEN, HIS BELOVED MOTHER
WHO DIED JULY 16TH 1963, AGED 90 YEARS.
First square block laid on grave:
ALSO HIS WIFE
DIED 26TH FEB 2000 / AGED 93 YEARS.
Second square block laid on grave:
DIED / 4th MARCH 2009 / AGED 96 YEARS
REUNITED / WITH FATHER,
MOTHER AND / BROTHER
This grave is made of Carrara marble, and was renovated
by the family in 2014.
The name of the original monumental mason, “FLETCHER, CRANHAM ST” can be seen on the left.
Francis Leonard Cyril Tayler (Frankie) was born in Walworth in 1905 (reg. third quarter), the son of Francis Henry Taylor (born in Oxford in 1875) and Ellen Long (born in Oxford in 1872). At the time of the 1901 census his mother Ellen (27) was a servant at the Sandringham Club in Piccadilly. Frankie’s father was described as a tailor of Walcorde Avenue in Walworth when he married Ellen, who lived in Nelson Street, Jericho, at St Barnabas's Church, Oxford ion 26 December 1903. They evidently settled in London. where Frankie was born two years later. At the time of the 1911 census, when Frankie was five, the family was living in Acton, and his father was a tailor’s cutter. His younger sister, Margaret G. J. Tayler, was born in London in 1912. By 1928 his parents had moved back with their two children to Oxford, and they lived at 42 Richmond Road.
Phyllis Constance Louise Dickenson was born in Ealing in 1906 (reg. Brentford district second quarter), the only daughter of Arthur Lewis Dickenson and Louisa Elizabeth Townend, who had married in 1899. At the time of the 1911 census Phyllis was four years old and living with her parents at 49 Northfield Avenue, West Ealing, where her father was Assistant Head Postmaster
On 16 September 1933 at St Paul's Church, Oxford, Francis Leonard Cyril Taylor (28) married Phyllis Constance Louise Dickenson (27): they were both then living with their parents in Oxford, and Frankie was described in the register as a motor mechanic and Phyllis as a milliner.
After their marriage the couple went to live at 25 Ridgefield Road in east Oxford. They had no children.
Frankie worked for the M.G. company at Abingdon, and was a friend and mechanic of the racing driver Kaye Don. Just eight months after his marriage, he was a passenger in Don’s car when he was practising on the Isle of Man for a forthcoming race. Don took a corner at over 60 miles per hour and hit another car, crashing through a hedge and landing upside down. Frankie was killed:
† Francis Leonard Cyril Tayler died at Noble’s Hospital on the Isle of Man on 29 May 1934 at the age of 28 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 2 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
His address at the time of his death was still 25 Ridgefield Road, so his parents in Jericho must have arranged for his burial in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery. but it is unclear why he was buried in the St Mary Magdalen section rather than the St Paul’s one.
His effects came to £867 8s. 7d., and probate was granted to his widow.
Kaye Don was charged with Frankie’s manslaughter, and because he was driving in darkness with no lights and the car had faulty steering, he was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment on the Isle of Man.
Left: Frankie Tayler’s gravestone depicts a racing car at the top
The following report and obituary appeared in the Oxford Times of 1 June 1934:
RACING CAR FATALITY
OXFORD MAN DIES AFTER ISLE OF MAN CRASH
An Oxford man, Mr. F. Tayler, of 105 Ridgefield-road, Cowley, died in hospital in the Isle of Man early on Tuesday morning following an accident the previous night, when Mr. Kay Don, the famous racing motorist, who was testing his car for the round-the-house race this week, was involved in a collision with another car. The car was an M.G. Magnette, and Mr. Tayler, who was an employee of the M.G. Company of Abingdon, was acting as mechanic to Kaye Don.
On Monday night Kaye Don, his wife, Mr. H. C. Hamilton, another driver in the races, and some others were playing cards at their hotel when Tayler arrived and said the work he and other mechanics had been putting in on an M.G. Magnette all day had been completed. Don decided at once to have a trial spin, and Tayler accompanied him when he set out in the direction of Laxey. They were returning to Douglas from Laxey when, on the top of White Bridge Hill, the car was in collision with a saloon car The Magnette mounted the grass verge, crashed into a hedge and overturned. Don and Tayler were pinned underneath.
An ambulance was telephoned for and Kaye Don and Tayler were removed to hospital, where the latter died at 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Don escaped with facial abrasions.
The inquest on Tayler was opened on Tuesday at Douglas, and after evidence of identification by Norman Black, the racing driver, was adjourned until Monday.
Married Last Year.
Mr. Tayler was the son of Mr. F. Tayler, of 42 Richmond-road, Oxford. He was married in September to Miss Dickinson [sic], of Ealing, where he spent his boyhood. His sister is Miss Joyce Tayler, a well-known local dancer. He was apprenticed to the motor trade at Chiswick, and subsequently joined the firm of Clement Talbot. He came to Oxford when Mr. Cecil Kimber first started the manufacture of M.G. cars locally, and was exceedingly popular with his fellow mechanics.
He was mechanic to Mr. Norman Black when he won the International Trophy races at Dublin and Belfast. He had not been with Kaye Don very long.
A poignant feature of the accident is that when he was married Mr. Tayler promised both his wife and his mother that he would give up racing, and that he should have been killed in a trial run is ironical.
Mr. Tayler was very interested in rowing and was closely associated with the Neptune Rowing Club.
Frankie’s father died in 1944, and because his burial is recorded by St Mary Magdalen Church, he must have been buried with his son:
† Francis Henry Tayler died at 42 Richmond Road at the age of 68 on 7 February 1944 and was buried in St Sepulchre's Cemetery on 11 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
Frankie’s mother died in 1963:
† Mrs Ellen Tayler, née Long, Frankie’s mother, died at 42 Richmond Road at the age of 90 on 16 July 1963 and was probably buried in this grave in St Sepulchre's Cemetery (later records of St Mary Magdalen Church not available).
Frankie’s wife remained a widow for 66 years, dying in the year 2000:
† Mrs Phyllis Constance Louise Tayler née Dickenson died on 26 February 2000 at the age of 93 and it is probably her ashes that were scattered on her husband’s grave.
Frankie’s sister died in 2009:
† Mrs Margaret G. Joyce Knight, née Tayler died on 4 March 2009 at the age of 96 and again her ashes were probably scattered here on her brother's grave.
Frankie’s widow and his sister are each remembered on a separate block placed on the grave.