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Colonel Doctor Thomas Frederic Young (1852-1943)

Medical qualifications

Thomas Frederic Young is first recorded in Liverpool at the medical school in 1868 but is noted as having passed the Preliminary examination of apothecaries Hall, Dublin in 1864. In 1868 and 1869 he proceeded to take the necessary medical courses. I now know he was born 21 April 1852 in Dublin (daughter Dora`s birthday book and Thomas` gravestone).

MEDICAL REGISTERS And DIRECTORIES give details that in 1888 he was residing at Rosebank, Merton Road, Bootle, Liverpool, 1899 at 12 Merton Road, 1904 at Carlton, Little Sutton, Cheshire, 1910 at 18 Abercromby Sq. (his practice?) and 54 Merton Road, and 1927 at 2130 Central Avenue, Victoria, B.C. Canada. Place and date of registration was May 2nd 1872 in England.  He acquired many qualifications both in England and Dublin.

Marriage and family

Thomas Frederic (note occasional spelling difference) married Mary Ellen Baker 24 April 1878 at the Parish Church of Woodside, Wharfedale in York. Mary Ellen`s father was Henry Granville Baker, Gentleman. The witnesses were Alfred Naasoon Young, Anna Margaret Young, Annie Thorpe and John Watkin Quinley. Alfred Naasoon has been located in the 1881 census (Alfred Nearson!) a surgeon on the MV Olympus aged 26 and born in Ireland. Thanks to the archive service at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin, I now know that Alfred had been admitted a Licentiate of the College (LKQCPI) in 1878 and then became a surgeon with the Cunard Shipping Company. They also informed they had a date of death as 8th June 1882.

In 1881 Dr Young was living at 12 Merton Road, Liverpool along with his family – Mary Ellen (wife), and children Frederic W B (2), Alfred H (1)and Dorothea E C (2m). In 1891 they were at the same address with the additions to the family of Mary (8), Thomas (6), Muriel (5) and James (3).

Also located in 1881 at 264 Derby Road, Bootle, were Thomas Frederic`s mother, Elizabeth, as a widow, living with her daughter Anna Margaret and son Verdgson (Naasoon) Alfred. All these Youngs and Rosa were born in Dublin, Ireland, except for Elizabeth who it is thought was born in Valenciennes, Northern France. As the youngest child Verdgson was born in Dublin it is thought that soon after that the family moved across to Liverpool. Would this move have had to with the famine I wonder? Thomas Young has been located in a Liverpool Directory for 1859 as a wine merchant living in Kent Street but he is not there on the 1861 census. In the 1878 Gore`s Directory for Liverpool, Thomas Young, Gentleman, is located at 266 Derby Road, Bootle, supposedly next door to Dr Thos.Fred.Young Surgeon.

Life of Col. Dr. Thomas Frederic Young and move to Canada

They lived in Bootle for many years, with a short spell at Carlton House, Little Sutton on the Wirral. He was very active in the 4th West Lancs Howitzer Brigade, along with son-in-law Percy Bradley. Dr Young also had a great interest in music and was very involved with the Gilbert & Sullivan performances with local groups. He was also involved with the RAMC. Dr Young ran successful practices in Liverpool – Abercromby Square being one of them. In 1910 he took the decision to travel to Victoria, BC in Canada, along with his wife Mary Ellen, and children Gwen, Muriel, possibly Thomas and his sister Anna Margaret. They lived on a farm called Inchegeelagh in Somenos north of Duncan. Inchegeelagh is the name of a small village in Co. Cork, Ireland, a long way from Dublin so it is interesting to ponder the significance in naming the farm. This farm appears to have been purchased prior to arrival and James Osman Slade could well have travelled there first to run this.

4th Brigade Lancs Artillery Volunteers

I am in possession of a silver tray that was presented to Col. Young from some friends of the ‘Old Fourth’ on his leaving England – inscription reads ‘ To Col. T F Young on his leaving England From some friends of the ‘Old Fourth’ in remembrance of his Thirty One Years Service 1877-1908′. ‘4th Brigade Lancs Artillery Volunteers (1861)’, ‘4th Lancs Volunteer Art. (1892)’, ‘4th Lancs Royal Garrison Art. (Vol) 1901’, ‘4th West Lancs Howitzer Brigade Royal Field Art. 1908’. The names inscribed are:

Cols. W M Belcher VD, G J Williams VD, HM Melly VD, A Melly VD. Lt.Cols. AF Braun, J McDonald VD, J O Coop, Chaplain. Majors SH Melly TD, EJ Nicholson, SP Morter, TH Bingham. Capts. OH Rathbone, S Bingham, GH Melly, RD Holt, RW Rathbone, JA Wolff, WE Moss, WA Moore. Lieutenants EV Hemdryk, AC Tod, PJ Overton, AD Eshelby, FW Baker-Young (RAMC JJ), P Bradley and WR Melly Esq.

Discovery of Canadian connection

1998 was a bit of a turning point in the Young researches as I was contacted by my uncle the Reverend Osman Bradley who knew I was trying to research the family history.  He had been contacted by Willie Thompson, the present day owner of 2130 Central Avenue, Victoria, B.C.  Willie had  become intrigued by the history of the house when he was working in his garden (yard!) one day and was stopped by a passer-by who said he used to live in the house about 30 years ago. According to Willie`s wife Lois, Willie became obsessed with the detective work needed to find out more. Amazingly Willie managed to locate my uncle in St Albans, who passed him on to myself. Many e-mails were exchanged with lots of information, culminating in a very exciting visit undertaken in September 1999 by my father Howard (aged 89 at the time), his brother Dick, myself and husband David to Victoria and Central Avenue. Our reception and consequent hospitality from Willie and his wife Lois was overwhelming. Willie had done a lot of research and took us to Somenos where we visited the graves of Dr Young, Mary Ellen, Gwen and Anna Margaret, and also the farm, or what is left of it now. Willie had spent many hours searching local records and discovered that in 1911 Dr Young purchased land in Victoria (apparently losing a lot of money in the deal). In 1912 he built his own home at 2130 Central Avenue and also two identical homes for his daughters at 2108 and 2118 Central Avenue (supposedly the two sisters did not get along!). 

2130 Central Avenue, Victoria, B.C. Canada, home of the Young family 1912
2130 Central Avenue, Victoria, B.C. Canada, home of the Young family 1912

Willie and Lois have kindly allowed me to insert the above lovely watercolour by local artist Paul Redchurch of Victoria, B.C. They arranged for him to make a painting of the house and Paul too has permitted the se of the copy of the picture, for which I thank him.

Dr Young returned to England around 1914 with Mary Ellen and Gwen and Muriel. They then returned to Victoria three or four years later to the homes which had stood empty while they were away. He became very friendly with another gentleman who has given us some insight into the character of Dr Young (now seemingly known as ‘the Colonel’). They employed one Chinese servant who lived in the basement of the home. The backyard was mostly vegetable garden and they had a chicken run on the side. Most people in Victoria had to grow their own vegetables and raise their own chickens because they were difficult to come by. They owned a car but it is not thought they ever had a horse and buggy here.  Many fine evenings we spent together with the Colonel who was a wonderful host full of anecdotes and life. The home was full of beautiful paintings, furniture and decorated with very fine taste. The drawing room contained two grand pianos and the upstairs had a fine dance hall. The Colonel is known to have played the cello, Muriel the violin and Gwen the piano. It is known that the Doyle Carte performed here at least once, and many enjoyable musical evenings were staged. Sadly it is thought that the Doctor invested heavily at the time, perhaps in the prospective gold mines of Vancouver Island, but nothing ever came of these and he lost virtually everything. Mary Ellen died in 1927. In 1936 Muriel married a widower Noble Washington Pirrie and moved to a house at 1310 Summit Drive (I visited her there in 1974 and only wish now that I had had the interest in the family then!). In 1936 the Colonel sold off 2114 Central Avenue (where Muriel had lived) to relatives of Mary Ellen his wife. Towards the end of 1940 the Colonel lost his eyesight.  He smoked and drank right to the end

It is interesting that although Col. Dr Young and Mary Ellen had 7 children, the 6 and only grandchildren came from Dora and Percy.

After the Colonel died in 1943 Gwen had a rather tough time and had to sell most, if not all of the furnishings to pay bills and the house was sadly neglected. In 1954 Gwen sold her big house and moved to a small cottage five miles away. Gwen died in 1969. Muriel lived to be 102 years old.

Sadly four of the Colonel`s children pre-deceased him. Dora as we know died in 1918 in the Spanish Flu outbreak while living in Grove Park, Liverpool with her family. She was pregnant again at the time. Also Frederic William Baker, Thomas Lowbridge and James Osman Slade.

Please see separate pages for information on the children of Thomas Frederic Young and Mary Ellen Baker.

Frederick William Baker – b. 14 January 1879 Bootle, d. 1928 Liverpool

Alfred Henry Innes – b. 1880 Bootle, d. 1967 Australia

Dorothea Emilie Constance – b. 31 January 1881 Bootle d. 11th December 1918 Liverpool

Mary Gwendoline – b. 1883 Bootle d. 1969 Canada

Thomas Lowbridge – b. 30 July 1885 Bootle d. 1917 France

Muriel Evelyn – b. 31 January 1886 Bootle d. 1988 Canada

James Osman Slade – b. 26 September 1887 Bootle d. 1918 France. (sometimes referred to as Joseph) also went to Greenbank School, Trent College, and then Liverpool College. It appears he travelled to Victoria before his father and family and ran the farm in Somenos after working with Mr F A Jackson at Somenos Lake for a time, but on the outbreak of war returned to England where he was offered a commission in the 2/4th Lancashire RFA but he preferred to remain with the Canadian contingent. Early in the war he was wounded at Ypres and after recovering joined the Machine Gun Corps and was only back at the front a few days before being killed on 30th October 1917, age 30. He is listed on the Duncan (BC) Cenotaph and remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

The daughters supposedly went to school in Cheltenham but having contacted Cheltenham Ladies College they have no record of any Youngs in that period. Apparently there were one or two other colleges for girls but they no longer exist and there are no records.