Born March 1903, daughter of composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and his wife Jessie, Gwendolen Coleridge-Taylor was raised in Croydon in the house where her father had died, aged 37, in September 1912. One of her father’s friends was the Trinidad-born general practitioner Dr John Alcindor (1873-1924), and he was a main guest at her wedding to Harold Dashwood at Croydon parish church on 19 April 1924 (seated next to Jessie who sits to the bride’s left). Behind him stands her brother, Hiawatha Coleridge-Taylor (he married pianist Kathleen Markwell in Dorking in late 1925). To the bride’s right sits Herbert Walters, a silk merchant and amateur musician who had guaranteed her father’s fees at the Royal College of Music back in 1890.
Gwendolen, who later changed her name to Avril, told something of her life and her memories of her composer father in The Heritage of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (London: Dobson, 1979). She composed and conducted, using her maiden name not Dashwood. She died in a nursing home in Seaford on the Sussex coast in late 1998.
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