Grand Uncle Ralph and His “Fancy Lady”
First published in the Rootes Journal in September 2014 by Jennifer Rowe
The name Fancy Lady came into being about 1805, it was one of many descriptions for the ladies of the night, but mainly used when referring to a man’s mistress.
Since I was a child wherever my mother, Gladys took me to Crow’s Nest, North Sydney, NSW she would tell me about her Uncle Ralph’s Maud. Mum’s vivid memories of Uncle Ralph are not so much of him being a career Naval Officer but of a stunningly beautiful lady, referred to as his Fancy Lady, whom he met whilst in England. I heard this story until not long before Mum died in December 2010 at just over 100 years of age.
Maud lived in a flat above the Post Office at Crow's Nest, NSW. Gladys remembers when her mother would take them to Crow's Nest and Ralph's two children, Freddie and Rosie (Maud Melba), would lean out the window and wave to them. They all knew they were cousins.