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  • Chris G.
    replied
    Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
    Hi, Chris. Yes, Norma Desmond was based on William Desmond Taylor's name. There are other comparisons in the movie as I understand it. Some compare the Norma Desmond character to how Mary Miles Minter aged in a big house, reliving the old days at least to some extent.

    The murder is another unsolved, not as complex as Ripperology, but unsolved to this day. Whether a bunch of powerful people were covering a$$ in general to protect income and reputations or whether they were covering up something they knew is anybody's guess. One of the newer suspects, Margaret Gibson/Patricia Palmer is a distant in-law to me.

    I highly recommend Taylorology. Some say that is the forerunner of forums such as we have here. Bruce Long has done a fantastic job of chronicling this case and keeping information accurate. He also wrote a book, 'William Desmond Taylor, a Dossier', which is well worth owning. There are now a number of books on the case and a few movies. I have a lot of respect for Bruce Long.

    WDT was from Ireland. His birth name was William Cunningham Deane-Tanner and he was related to the MP, Deane-Tanner. His brother Denis Gage Deane-Tanner also disappeared around the time WDT was murdered. He is not a suspect. Denis may have had some medical issues after seeing active duty in war (Boer?), so there is a military connection there also. (If we dig deep enough we may find a connection to Johnto? Not likely, LOL!) ;-)

    Yes on the bottle. I'll get something out to you today. I will cherish that bottle. Believe it or not, my procrastination is mainly because my address is a bit unsettled since I am living with the person I care for.
    Hi Anna

    Always glad to help. If I could give your reply to me a "Like" I would, Kattrup's posts also because they help educate me some more as to the British military system. Thanks, Kat!

    Great that you still want the ginger beer bottle. I will get it out to you straight away once I receive your payment.

    RipperCon, just held in Baltimore, was an outstanding event if I say so myself, but it was expensive to mount, and I am selling everything to help finance what is still owing, mostly to the hotel.

    I will take a look at "Taylorology." The scandal over Fatty Arbuckle and the alleged rape comes to mind from the same era. Yes there may have been a cover-up in the case of the death (murder?) of William Desmond Taylor, but as with the so-called Royal Conspiracy suggested and believed (!) in the Whitechapel murders, it's too easy to fall into that way of thinking, that there was a vast cover-up involving higher-ups, whether Hollywood royalty or ones that live in "Buck House" in London.

    In 2014, I was involved in a pilot project filmed by a locally based company, Renegade Productions, for a possible mystery series featuring Key West-based psychic named Denise Lescano. The purpose of the episode was to investigate what happened in regard to the death of Edgar Allan Poe here in Baltimore in early October 1849. Some suspension of disbelief was required. Have a look:

    http://vimeo.com/renegadeproduction/review/106983312/ed10cf187a

    When we filmed the video, I wasn't convinced by what Ms Lescano was telling us (she even said she doesn't believe Poe is below the marble monument). The politician she fingered, later (1869) Maryland Governor Oden Bowie, was considerably younger than Poe, and was a Southern Maryland politician not a Baltimore politico. So to me it seems very unlikely he could have been involved in the demise of the great writer the way she claimed happened.

    Given where Poe was found on the sidewalk on East Lombard Street, it appears likely to me the poet had walked (or staggered) from the inner harbor area west of that location and that he was not in the Fells Point "Sailortown" section nor in a brothel in that area as Ms. Lescano claimed.

    When we sat discussing the case in the Poe Room of the Central Branch of the Enoch Pratt Public Library, I'm the skeptical bloke between Ms. Lescano and Jason Vaughan of Heritage Baltimore. I have in front of me a lock of Poe's hair and a piece of his coffin. I will be selling them on ebay next week. Any bids?

    What do you think?

    Cheers

    Chris

    Leave a comment:


  • Anna Morris
    replied
    For what it's worth, pictures of William Desmond Taylor in uniform. I don't think the kind of crummy newspaper photo looks much like WDT and maybe it isn't him but the newspaper of the time said it was.
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • Anna Morris
    replied
    Many thanks to Kattrup, Phillip and Chris for the information. I think all this adds a lot to the study of William Desmond Taylor.

    (It always seemed to me that WDT's military career was inflated at times by publicists but the explanations here make sense of a number of things.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Anna Morris
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris G. View Post
    In a battlefield situation, officers are often given temporary promotions for the purpose of getting through the battle and having everyone fulfill their allotted role. The British military parlance can often seem stuffy and overly fastidious. In US terms what William Desmond Taylor received is equivalent to a "brevet" promotion. The British high command would not want to commit to higher pay if the brevet promotion was not endorsed with permanent promotion after the battle.

    Anna, do you still want that ginger beer bottle that we discussed previously? If so, it's yours for $20 postpaid -- email me or send me a pm.

    The William Desmond Taylor enquiry looks to be fascinating. What's the current thinking? Who did him in?

    As an aside I wonder if the name Norma Desmond in the classic film "Sunset Boulevard" starring Gloria Swanson as the aging silent film star (one of my all-time favorite movies) might be derived from that of William Desmond Taylor. If so, it's a clever choice on the part of the screenwriter because the name gives a whiff of Old Hollywood and Tinseltown scandal.
    Hi, Chris. Yes, Norma Desmond was based on William Desmond Taylor's name. There are other comparisons in the movie as I understand it. Some compare the Norma Desmond character to how Mary Miles Minter aged in a big house, reliving the old days at least to some extent.

    The murder is another unsolved, not as complex as Ripperology, but unsolved to this day. Whether a bunch of powerful people were covering a$$ in general to protect income and reputations or whether they were covering up something they knew is anybody's guess. One of the newer suspects, Margaret Gibson/Patricia Palmer is a distant in-law to me.

    I highly recommend Taylorology. Some say that is the forerunner of forums such as we have here. Bruce Long has done a fantastic job of chronicling this case and keeping information accurate. He also wrote a book, 'William Desmond Taylor, a Dossier', which is well worth owning. There are now a number of books on the case and a few movies. I have a lot of respect for Bruce Long.

    WDT was from Ireland. His birth name was William Cunningham Deane-Tanner and he was related to the MP, Deane-Tanner. His brother Denis Gage Deane-Tanner also disappeared around the time WDT was murdered. He is not a suspect. Denis may have had some medical issues after seeing active duty in war (Boer?), so there is a military connection there also. (If we dig deep enough we may find a connection to Johnto? Not likely, LOL!) ;-)

    Yes on the bottle. I'll get something out to you today. I will cherish that bottle. Believe it or not, my procrastination is mainly because my address is a bit unsettled since I am living with the person I care for.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kattrup
    replied
    Taylor kept the rate of pay allowance afforded a 2nd lieutenant although he was promoted (temporarily) to lieutenant
    I assumed he was originally a 2nd lieutenant but his wiki states he enlisted as a private. The point remains, that his pay and allowance did not increase but remained at whatever rank he was previously.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kattrup
    replied
    Anna, the British Army ranks and promotion system was very complex and in ww1 times changes happened that seem odd. so care should be taken when comparing things to other things.

    As I understand it, there were several ways in which a person could receive a promotion. Brevet, acting and temporary are not the same thing, and battlefield promotion yet another. Substantive rank was an officer’s actual rank, the others modified it. It was also possible to hold a local rank, that is only applicable in a certain area, e.g. India, Ireland.

    Temporary literally meant temporary, that is, for a period of time which could be predetermined or open-ended, after which the officer would revert to his former rank. It was used to quickly fill a position, when for whatever reason it was not desired to actually promote or post someone of the required rank.
    As will be noted, pay and allowance of the new rank was not included, i.e. Taylor kept the rate of pay allowance afforded a 2nd lieutenant although he was promoted (temporarily) to lieutenant.

    While the old officer’s system was dependent on seniority and openings for promotion (thus leading to junior officers lifting their glasses to toast “bloody wars and deadly diseases” since those were the only things enabling promotion), around the time of ww1 this was of course insufficient, which led to a class of officers receiving their commissions as temporary, thought to be more or less the duration of the war. You’ll therefore see the term “temporary gentlemen”, which denoted this group of officers.

    Such officers could advance and be promoted etc. If Taylor left the service as captain, obviously he was promoted again.

    Acting, otoh, meant a rank that was tied to a specific posting, e.g. battalion commander. As soon as the officer left the posting, he reverted to his former rank. Acting was therefore usually much briefer thantemporary.


    Look at the other announcements on the page you posted, and you can see how the system differentiates between temporary and acting.

    The first officer listed is a temporary captain. He has been serving as acting liutenant colonel of a battalion. Upon relinquishing that command, he reverts to a previous acting-post, of acting major.

    The guy directly above Taylor has a temporary commission (2nd lieutenant), but is posted to serve as acting captain, i.e. receives rank of captain (2 ranks up) while posted to that assignment, but only receives the pay and allowance of a full lieutenant (1rank up). He is still only a 2nd lieutenant, though.

    So it can be rather complex, and the whole “temporary gentlemen” phenomenon is interesting in itself, highlighting as it does the conflict between adhering to old army traditions while trying to implement a more modern approach in face of military developments.

    Hope it helps, I’m not an expert so hopefully someone can expand or correct the above.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chris G.
    replied
    In a battlefield situation, officers are often given temporary promotions for the purpose of getting through the battle and having everyone fulfill their allotted role. The British military parlance can often seem stuffy and overly fastidious. In US terms what William Desmond Taylor received is equivalent to a "brevet" promotion. The British high command would not want to commit to higher pay if the brevet promotion was not endorsed with permanent promotion after the battle.

    Anna, do you still want that ginger beer bottle that we discussed previously? If so, it's yours for $20 postpaid -- email me or send me a pm.

    The William Desmond Taylor enquiry looks to be fascinating. What's the current thinking? Who did him in?

    As an aside I wonder if the name Norma Desmond in the classic film "Sunset Boulevard" starring Gloria Swanson as the aging silent film star (one of my all-time favorite movies) might be derived from that of William Desmond Taylor. If so, it's a clever choice on the part of the screenwriter because the name gives a whiff of Old Hollywood and Tinseltown scandal.

    Leave a comment:


  • Phillip Walton
    replied
    On the WW1 battlefields the highest casualty rate was among junior officers. The only way of quickly replacing them was to promote NCO's, this would have been a 'Field promotion'. This looks like just such a case.

    Leave a comment:


  • Anna Morris
    replied
    I hope the post below shows both the clip and the questions. Looks like the question part got cut off on the right side? If so, I can enhance and re-post. Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • Anna Morris
    started a topic British Military Info. Needed

    British Military Info. Needed

    I was able to clip the original document plus the questions. This pertains to William Desmond Taylor, the silent film era director who was mysteriously murdered in early February, 1922. He was in the English military toward the end of WWI.

    (The Taylor murder is still unsolved. Bruce Long who asks the questions here, started Taylorology, amassing information about the case. My whole internet career started with Taylorology.)

    Another member replied to the questions, describing U.S. military procedures. I do not know if they are the same. Any information is greatly appreciated.
    Attached Files
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