Emily Jane Taylor Steel was born on 1st May 1915 (coinciding with the second battle of Ypres).  She was delivered in the Thornton Manse, Fife – the first child of the Reverend David Steele and Mary Cassels.  She remembered seeing her father return from duty from the front and her mother ordered her to remain inside while she went out to embrace him.


Emily was educated at Falkirk High School after her father moved to Carron Manse.  She loved literature and took an English degree at Glasgow University.  She then trained to be a teacher and Jordanhill College.   She taught English at Graeme and Denny High Schools and finally became Lady Superintendent at Denny High.  She was renowned for developing genuine friendships with her pupils some of whom became life long friends and attended her funeral.


Her family recall, that she was regarded as quite a beauty when she was young and always cared for her appearance.  She caught the eye of a dashing young Polish officer who came to be billeted at the family home.  During the war he was a partisan living in the Polish forests and attacking the Nazis.  They had a long and happy marriage.  Czesiek had a surname which the good folk of Falkirk found unpronounceable so he adopted her last middle name of Taylor adding Alan for good measure.  Her relatives discovered when they registered her death her full married name became Emily Jane Taylor Taylor.


Emily enjoyed antiques and apparently spotted several valuable items.  She read deeply about psychology.  She enjoyed writing and had several articles published in the Scots Magazine.  She loved her garden.  She enjoyed art.  Her family remember that “she loved to laugh and loved making others laugh”.


Aged 60, she presented with severe aortic stenosis.  As a waiting list initiative patient, she went off to the Brompton Hospital, London and despite her associated chronic obstructive airways disease she sailed through her operation.


She then proceeded to live to aged 97.  By the end of this time she had accumulated an impressive set of cardiac problems: hypertension, LV impairment some mitral stenosis and reflux, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary hypertension, RV impairment, tricuspid reflux and coronary disease.  Despite this she remained surprisingly active and independent to the end helped by some very good friends.  For her the glass was never half empty – it was always full to the brim.


Some time before her death she announced that, as she had no children, she would like to leave her estate to Cardiology.  She was very pleased to accept the suggestion this might be to the Scottish Cardiac Society.  She would be delighted to know that her Travel Fund helps young people in particular to further their education in Cardiology and thereby to help others as she had been helped.


The Society is grateful to Dr Stuart Shaw & Prof Stuart Pringle for compiling this summary of Emily Taylor's life.

Emily Jane Taylor