OrnaVerum
v 6.30.00
28 Jan 2022
updated 19 Nov 2022

Cyril Findlay
(1886 – 27 Aug 1925)

[As recounted by J M (Findlay) Guerin]

... probably the worst [of the Findlay black sheep], was Cyril Findlay, son of WRF #2, b.1886 in Melbourne. Married (? no record yet) to Frances Louis Peters in South Africa, two children Richard and Roma. I knew Roma and have had contact with one of her daughters. Cyril abandoned this family when he returned to Australia to enlist for the 1st World War. He enlisted on 8 Apr 1915 into Australian Imperial Forces, joining the Medical Corps, working on hospital ships, and as a porter in the Australian Casualty Clearing Station.

Australian war records are available for free online, his regimental no. was 112A. over 70 pages of info, including numerous letters from a number of ladies enquiring as to his health and whereabouts. Persistent enquiries from a Blanche McPherson, who morphs into a Blanche Findlay, continuing to make enquiries from the same address. Blanche was an actress, much about her on-line, various to-ing and fro-ing to London (1925 & 1930), on stage in both England and Australia. She had a son called Cyril Jack Findlay (b 1917), who accompanied her, sometimes even appeared on stage with her. I have her, inscribed, book of English prayers which came into my possession via the effects of Cyril's brother Samuel.

Cyril was demobbed on 7 Nov 1919 in London, where he had started a relationship with an Alice Emily Wilks, Although he never married her, he went on to have a further two children with Alice, Joan Kathleen (b 1920) and Una Margaret (b 1921). Cyril died from TB on 27 Aug 1925, leaving Alice £140 and the two daughters to bring up. Rascal!!

#IndividualSpouse / PartnerFamily
‑2Cyril Findlay
(1886 – 27 Aug 1925)

born in Melbourne,
emigrated to South Africa, died in London
Louisa Frances Peters

South Africa

(before returning to join Australian Imperial Forces on 8 Apr 1915)
Richard Findlay

Roma Findlay
Emma Blanche McPherson / Findlay

Australia
Cyril (Clive?) Jack Findlay1,  2
(b 1917)
Alice Emily Wilks

London

(after demobilisation from Australian Imperial Forces on 7 Nov 1919)
Joan Kathleen Findlay
(b 11 Jan 1920)

Una Margaret Findlay
(b 1921)
‑1Roma Findlay   Daughters
‑1Cyril Jack Findlay
(b 1917)
Edna May O'Brien
(b 1 Jul 1921)
(m 1942)
Pamela (Pam) Findlay
0Pam Findlay Dennis Richardson  

Only 10 stone in weight, 5'6¼" in height, and with a chest measurement of but 35", he was a bit of a shrimp by modern standards, but he served his country well in the Australian Pay Corps (gaining a whole inch in stature by the time he was demobilised), and rose to the rank of Acting Staff Sergeant. Though he had originally given his mother's name as next of kin, that was soon amended to Louisa Frances Peters, described as his wife.

The records show however a series of enquiries from anxious young women as to his whereabouts during active service and immediately thereafter, so he was evidently a bit of a ladies' man – and had dallied in particular with Blanche McPherson, by whom he had fathered a son Cyril in 1917, evidently whilst on home leave back in Australia.

At the end of the war, he opted for discharge in England, where he soon became romantically involved with one Emily Wilks, resident in Bow, a district in the East End of London, and rapidly fathered two daughters. But perhaps the rigours of wartime caught up with him, and he succumbed to tuberculosis, a common disease of that time, dying only four years later.