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Recounting Blessings

From a Full Life Enriched by Sport
The Telfer Prologue 1811 - 1905 - 1934

Recounting Blessings - My Mother’s Heritage


As my father, James Nicoll Kerr Henderson of Stirling, was attending Glasgow University between 1925 and 1928, so my mother Agnes (Nancy) Telfer, then unknown to him as a potential future husband, was a student teacher at Jordanhill Training College, also in Glasgow.


Nancy Telfer in 1928



Nancy, born in 1905, was the second child of John WALKER Telfer (1859 - 1931) and his first cousin Elizabeth (Lizzie) Waddell Walker (1877 – 1963) who had married in Falkirk in 1902.


JW Telfer and Lizzie Walker



Nancy’s mother Lizzie, before her marriage, had been employed as a Dressmaker, and her father was a Foundry Cashier - the foundry career for him having been promoted by his father, Falkirk’s Castlelaurie Foundry Manager, John Telfer (1835 – 1915).


The pattern of Telfer family events up to Nancy’s birth in 1905 is fairly well summarised in the second and third images (below) of an article about Nancy’s grandfather which was published in 1908 in the Falkirk Herald, and which also refers to Nancy’s great grandfather William Telfer (first image).


William Telfer (1811- 1896)


Jean (Rennie) Telfer (1807 -1876)

in 1860




John Telfer (1835- 1915)




Nancy attended Falkirk High School, and although this schooling was interrupted by a severe bout of rheumatic fever, she eventually became an outstanding student, particularly in Music, Art and Mathematics. Thereafter at Jordanhill Teacher Training College she graduated with merit, and with a teaching grade of ‘Very Promising’.


Regrettably, as I never really talked much with my mother about her youth, all that I can now gather about her early days has to be interpolated from the many photographs taken for the family albums by her brothers, John (1903 – 1973) and Willie (1907 – 1993). Thus I present just a few of these below, with as much identification as I can manage.


I do know that it was a happy, loving, and very musical upbringing that she experienced, and that marvellous summer holidays in Crail, Fife, for almost two decades with various members of the extended family of Walkers, WALKERS, Thomsons, and Shorts et al., contributed greatly to everyone’s enjoyment of life and to the families’ Christian solidarity.


The Telfer Children in 1915

Nancy, Willie, Jenny and John




This next picture shows,

From left to right in the back row:

Cousin John Short, Nancy Telfer, AN Other, Grace Temple (Nancy’s Bridesmaid to be) and Willie Telfer.

From left to right in the front row:

Minnie Robertson (Willie’s future wife), Cousin Agnes Short, and Jenny Telfer




The Marriage


James Nicoll Kerr Henderson


Agnes (Nancy) Telfer

15th August 1934




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