Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Maiden's granddaughter Lucy Brown Craig

At the age of 40, Margaret Flockton achieved a goal - a dream job with an ideal boss.

This was the botanist Joseph Maiden, with whom she worked for almost 25 years. She developed a close relationship with his family too, especially his daughter Mary. She taught Mary lithography and attended her 1911 society wedding to Dr Francis Brown Craig.

My new book Margaret Flockton: A Fragrant Memory (available from Wakefield Press) mentions that the Maiden family suffered a distressing loss during the Second World War. Mary Maiden’s 19-year-old daughter Lucy Brown Craig disappeared on 12 April 1940 after she left her place of employment around 5pm to return home. 

Police at the time believed the report that "Miss Brown Craig left a tram at King's Cross on the night she disappeared, and that she walked down Darlinghurst Road with a young man of athletic build, who had a "toothbrush" moustache and wore a grey suit. This report was made by a man who knew the girl well. Police would like confirmation from others who may have seen the girl and the young man on the tram, or later." (Sydney Morning Herald, 24 April 1940, p 15, col a, with picture of Lucy on p 16.)

Despite huge media coverage, a year later Lucy was still missing and her fate, if known, was never revealed publicly.

That was my conclusion from my review of old newspapers in Trove. Lacking contact details for the Brown Craigs, I couldn't discover whether the mystery had ever been solved.

It seems that this story has recently attracted the attention of others and her fate is still unknown. Read this article of interest from True Crime Reader.