Elizabeth Tyson (1894-1977)
Mary and William Tyson’s second daughter Elizabeth Tyson, known as Elsie until much later in life she reverted to Elizabeth, was born on 10 April 1894 at Rockhurst, the family home in New Brighton. She was educated by a governess and then attended a local private school. In 1912 she spent some months with a family at St. Cloud near Paris, in order to improve her French. She was a talented and enthusiastic musician from an early age, having to sit on books on the piano stool because she was so small but passing Grade 1 with distinction before she was five. She had piano lessons and put in many hours of practice until the family moved from New Brighton. She also had a good mezzo-soprano voice and took singing lessons. She always said that she would have liked to study at the Royal College of Music but was unable to persuade her mother. She had a very good eye for colour and enjoyed embroidery and gardening though rough hands from the latter made the former difficult. Her life-long love of gardening began when the gardeners at the New Brighton house were called up in 1914 and Elsie took over their duties.
In 1916 she went with a friend to Harrogate to visit the friend’s fiancé, an RE subaltern, who was stationed nearby. There she met Bill Duthie (William Smith Duthie), then a Lieutenant in the Gordon Highlanders stationed at Ripon. Bill’s family lived in Portessie, near Buckie, Banffshire where his father Lewis was the skipper of a herring drifter - both his parents came from fishing families - but Bill (b. 22 May 1892), the youngest surviving of seven children, joined the Royal Bank of Scotland when he was almost sixteen. In 1910 he joined the Canadian Bank of Commerce and worked in various branches around Canada. His training included a course at McGill University and in 1915 he joined the McGill Company of the newly formed Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry which brought him to England as a corporal. He subsequently transferred to the Gordon Highlanders as a 2nd Lieutenant.