Maud TAYLOR came to Canada from England somewhere between 1901 and 1911 to begin a new life. She married Albert Richard PALSER, a Toronto native, on the 26th of July 1911 and the couple soon began their family. Their daughter Florence was born on the 24th of May 1912.
In August of 1914, England declared war on Germany and as a member of the British Empire, Canada was automatically involved. Even while Maud was expecting their second child, Albert enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force on the 30th of April, 1916, determined to do his part in the war effort. As World War I raged on, Maud gave birth to a son on the 12th of July 1916 who they named Albert David PALSER for his father. Sadly, Albert David became ill in the summer of 1917 and died on the 2nd of August 1917 of indigestion and heat prostration from hypostatic pneumonia. The infant was laid to rest in an infant’s single grave in Section 16, Lot 1093 in Prospect Cemetery.
In February 1918, as the world recovered from the war and Albert Palser returned from Europe to face the sad loss of his infant son, a new threat of the Spanish influenza emerged in the aftermath of the war. The effect of the epidemic on Toronto was similar to other large cities. Everyone was terrified and most who went outdoors wore a face mask in hopes of escaping from the deadly germ.
Maud was especially careful in the fall of 1918. She was expecting another baby. Gordon Taylor PALSER was born on the 20th of January 1919 and welcomed into the family. Young Florence was almost six years old and delighted to have a baby brother.
It was not long afterwards that tragedy struck the family again. At the beginning of May 1919, father Albert came down with the flu’ and after a short three day battle, he succumbed, dying on the 6th of May 1919. Maud was devastated and purchased a plot at Prospect Cemetery in Section 18, lot 732 where husband Albert was laid to rest the day after his death as was the custom during the epidemic. No sooner had the family returned home from the funeral then Maud gave in to the flu’ herself and was rushed to Toronto General Hospital. As a complication of the influenza, Maud developed pneumonia and died on the 12th of May 1919.
This time, Maud’s sister Eliza BULMER arranged the burial and Maud was laid to rest beside her beloved Albert, leaving the two children orphaned. Florence was six; Gordon was only four months old.
Albert’s parents, Florence and Frank Palser, took the baby in to raise and young Florence went to live with her Uncle Daniel and Aunt Eliza Bulmer.
Unfortunately the family was still to face yet one more tragedy. In April of 1920, not long after his first birthday, baby Gordon fell ill. He developed bronchial pneumonia and died on the 20th of April. He was laid to rest in the arms of his parents at Prospect Cemetery on the 21st of April 1920.