Thomas Taylor Mains

Thomas Taylor Mains, 1885-1963 This square is in honour of my dear grandfather, born in October, 1895 in Ayr, Scotland. His mother died in childbirth, leaving him, a brother and sister with friends. They then were sent to Crookston Home and from there to Quarriers on November 4, 1908. They all had measles at the time and one child also had whooping cough. On April 1st, 1911 he and his brother John (known as Jack) were sent to Canada on a ship called Canada arriving in Halifax. His sister Agnes (Nessie) followed them on the Hesperian arriving in Quebec City on June 17, 1911. They were all sent to Quarriers in Brockville, Ontario and Grandpa went from there to a farm near Brockville. As an adult he never told anyone that he was a British Home Child, but I remember him often visiting “the farm”. No one in my family even knew anything about British Home Children until 2014 when I first found their names on a ship full of children. I believe he and my Great Aunt Nessie were treated not badly. However, Jack apparently did not fare as well. He had many reports (which the government accidentally destroyed) and he left Canada for the USA after WWI. Grandpa and Great Aunt Nessie remained very close all of their lives. Grandpa and his brother Jack enlisted in the Canadian Army and fought in WWI. He won medals including one for bravery at Passchendaele Ridge in November 1917, where he was severely wounded. He returned to Brockville after the war, married and had three children. This is the only picture I have of the two brothers. Grandpa proudly marched in every Remembrance Day Parade. I remember the large brass bullet he had from when he was wounded. It is believed that his sudden death from stroke was related to his war injuries. Grandpa married Carolyn (Carrie) Hyde from England in December, 1927 and they had three children – my father Thomas Jr, Robert (Bob) and Marlene. He built a house on the corner opposite the Brockville Collegiate and the park on Pearl Street in Brockville. He was both a carpenter and mail man. On the quilt there is my favourite photo of him. He is delivering the mail by boat from Brockville to Queen Elizabeth on her ship. He was proud to be Canadian and a Scotsman. I can still hear his lovely Scottish brogue. He will always be my hero. Sadly, he passed away in December of 1963. I will never forget him and I hope that in some way he knows because of this quilt how proud I am of him, his courage and his life.