Albert Talbot (1877 – 1936) Anglican clergyman, army chaplain
Albert Talbot, Anglican clergyman, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force as the senior Anglican chaplain. Colonel Talbot was wounded at Lone Pine in August 1915. On his return to Australia he became president of the Returned Soldiers’ Association and saw the Church as the mediator in a disjointed society and the advocate of a better Australia.
Albert Talbot, Anglican clergyman, was born on 18 August 1877 at Salford, Lancashire, England.
Educated at Manchester Grammar School, he worked as an estate agent before winning a scholarship to Emmanuel College, Cambridge (B.A., 1904; M.A., 1908). Awarded several prizes and the Tyrwhitt Hebrew scholarship, he obtained a double first in the theology tripos. Made deacon in 1905, he was ordained priest by the bishop of Manchester on 10 June 1906.
Despite tutoring at the conservative Church Missionary Society’s training college, Islington (1907-09), he held liberal views and, as rector of Stowell memorial church, Salford (1909-12), joined the ‘Group Brotherhood’ (Anglican Evangelical Group Movement).
In 1912 Talbot was appointed dean and archdeacon of Sydney by a fellow brotherhood member, Archbishop J. C. Wright, who expected him to make St Andrew’s Cathedral the centre for an Evangelical social gospel. Talbot responded vigorously. A powerful preacher with a reformist message, he joined the Anglican Church League which stood for a general low churchmanship; he later became its president and wrote for the Australian Church Record. Synod and its social questions committee became an important forum.
His growing interest in Labor politics, stimulated by his association with Premier James McGowen, set him apart from his colleagues.
Having enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force as senior Anglican chaplain, Colonel Talbot married Adrienne Elizabeth Vert in St Andrew’s Cathedral on 5 September 1914. Next month he embarked for Egypt with the 3rd Battalion. On Gallipoli he developed a strong rapport with the troops and demonstrated his ecumenism.
Wounded at Lone Pine in August 1915, he returned to Australia next February. Demobilized in March, he retained his connexion with the Australian Military Forces until 1933. He succeeded H. D. McIntosh in 1916 as president of the Returned Soldiers’ Association.
Talbot, saw the Church as the mediator in a disjointed society and the advocate of a better Australia. He helped to form the short-lived Australian Christian Social Union and supported the Industrial Christian Fellowship founded by A. C. Willis in an attempt to bring Christian values into Labor politics.
Tall, athletic and impulsive, Talbot promoted the call for a new constitution for an autonomous Australian Church and a revised prayer book.
Lone Pine Chaplain, The Very Rev. Dean A. E. Talbot (C. of E.)
Image Lone Pine – sourced from http://www.macknortshs.qld.edu.au/ANZAC/lone_pine_memorial.htm
which includes details of the Battle of Lone Pine
A stained glass window in the Clerestory at St Andrews Cathedral, Sydney, commemorates Albert Edward Talbot, Dean of the Cathedral from 1912 to 1936.
Australian Chaplains in WW1
Australian chaplains at war
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