. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Tapscott-Kennington Butterfly


Wilfrid, Daisy and family, 1922

Wilfrid Rawlings Tapscott sailed from Plymouth on board the ship ‘Asturias’ early in 1908, docked briefly at Freemantle on 28th February 1908 before continuing and disembarking at Port Adelaide on 2nd March, 1908.

Second page of the manifest for the ship 'Asutias' showing passenger Wilfrid Rawlings Tapscott

He soon found work as a grocer’s assistant and was responsible for a mobile grocery taking his wares by horse-drawn van around Adelaide and to the more remote homes on the outskirts. He married Daisy Theresa Wilkins, daughter of Jubal George Wilkins and Emma Labram on 20th May, 1913 and they had 7 children, one of whom died in infancy.

Daisy with Wilfred (Billy) and Millicent (Millie) WW1

Wilfrid enlisted into the Australian Army in 1916 and was sent to England preparatory to being drafted to France. During his time in England he visited his family in Bridgwater. It is not known if there was any contact with his first wife, Jessie, but since they had both remarried it is unlikely. Wilfrid was badly wounded in the thigh and spent several weeks recuperating in Cheltenham Hospital, Gloucestershire. He was also gassed several times but on each occasion he was sent back to the front until eventually he was invalided out and returned home to Australia at the end of the war.

Wilfrid and brother James, 1916

Wilfrid was recorded on the Adelaide electoral roll from 1909 and on the residents register. From his marriage his address was 15 Rowell Crescent, Kilkenny, Adelaide (now West Croydon, Adelaide) and he was recorded as being a shop assistant until 1926 after which he was a storeman.

On the outbreak of the second world war Wilfrid again enlisted but this time saw out his service on home territory. He was 54 and had apparently been unemployed so the war brought employment for him as it did many others who had been struggling since the Great Depression.

Daisy died on 9th July, 1953, as a result of complications after many years suffering from diabetes. Wilfrid visited England and his home town of Bridgwater in 1960, to see his remaining brother and sister, James and Gertrude. He died in Adelaide on 24th September, 1969.

Children of Wilfrid Tapscott and Daisy Wilkins are:

Gertrude Millicent Tapscott, b. 22 May 1913, Semaphore South Australia; died 8 May 2000, Bedford Park South Australia; Gertrude married William Edwin Gregory, 28 March 1969, Adelaide S.A.; he was born 29 April 1906, Sanderston South Australia and they had no children.

Wilfred Rawlings Tapscott, born 27 February 1915, Adelaide South Australia; died 20 January 1991, Fullarton South Australia. Wilfred was a storeman and he married Hellen Victoria Bernice (Bern) McKay on 19 May, 1944 in Adelaide. They had a daughter, Judith Bernice.  Jude married and had three sons, Sam, Danny and Josh.

Wilfred and Bernice Tapscott (R) with friends, 1944

Harold James Tapscott, born 24 January 1921, Kilkenny, South Australia; died 18 July 1923, Kilkenny, South Australia.

Bessie Frances Tapscott, born 17 July 1922, Kilkenny South Australia; died 28 September 2003, Adelaide, S.A.. Bessie didn’t marry.


Fred Merrit Tapscott, born 18 October 1924, Kilkenny, South Australia; died 29 March 1969, Woodville, South Australia. Fred married Norma Violet Gill and they had four children, Wendy Sue, Pamela Fay, Heather Jan and Kym Shane.  They have all married and have children apart from Pamela, who died in infancy.

Frank Otson Tapscott, born 19 October 1926, Kilkenny South Australia; Died 26 December 1980, Victor Harbor South Australia. Frank married Dorothy Beryl Burfitt on 14th October, 1949 and they had three children, Christopher Ian, Joanne Theresa and Jennifer Marjorie.  They have all married and have children.

Frank, Millie, Fred, Bern

Barbara Dawn Tapscott, b. 24 July 1929, Kilkenny South Australia. Barbara did not marry.

Wilfrid and Daisy with granddaughter Judith, 1947

Wilfrid with Barbara and Bessie, 1964

Wilfrid and Daisy, Memorial