Private 49038 Albert Taylor

Killed in Action on Thursday, 25th April 1918, age unknown.
Commemorated on Panel 42 to 47 and 162 of Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

1st/5th Bn., West Yorkshire Regt. (Prince of Wales's Own). 146th Brigade of 49th Division.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: York, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/827063/

Genealogical Data

This is not definite, but a strong possibility. Found by searching the 1911 Census on Albert Taylor born Tipton, and living in Yorkshire.

1901 Census
45 Aire Street, Castleford, Yorkshire.
William Taylor (49, Innkeeper, born Tipton), his wife Eliza (48, born Tipton), and their 5 children: William (22, Blacksmith, born Tipton), Thomas (20, Coal Miner, born Tipton), Albert (15, Stableboy/Groom, born Tipton), Florrie (12, born Tipton), and Eva (10, born Tipton).

1911 Census
24 Roundhill Road, Castleford, Yorkshire.
William Taylor (59, Mineral Water Manufacturer, born Tipton), his wife Eliza (58, born Tipton), and their 3 children: Albert (25, Assistant in Mineral Water Manufacture, born Tipton), Florrie (23, Domestic Servant, born Tipton), and Eva (21, Domestic Servant, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After Albert's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £4/18/1d (4 pounds, 18 shillings and 1 penny); this was paid to his widow, Emma, in October 1919. His War Gratuity was £5/0/0d (5 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his widow in October 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Albert had enlisted in approximately January 1917.

Action resulting in his death

On the 16th April, the Germans had launched their first 1918 offensive on Kemmel Hill, a significant highpoint about 5 miles south-west of Ypres. This was beaten off, but a second German attack on Kemmel Hill was launched on the 25th April.

On the 21st April, the 1/5th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (1/5WYks) had taken over front-line trenches 3 miles to the east of Kemmel, near Wijtschate (known to the Tommies as White Sheets). The French were now defending Kemmel Hill.

The Germans launched an exceptionally heavy bombardment of gas and high-explosives from 2.30am on the 25th April. Their ground attack began shortly after 5am. Their principal aim was Kemmel Hill, but by attacking the British right flank where it joined the French, hoped to break through and separate the Allied forces.

After initially repulsing the enemy, by 7am the Germans had got around the right flank of the 1/5WYks and their advance forced the Battalion HQ to withdraw. At this stage the front line was intact but no further communication was received from these men.

After holding the line for 4½ hours, the men had been surrounded and were either killed or captured as none of them was to re-join the battalion. The few remaining HQ staff fought a rear-guard retreat before being relieved on the 26th April.

The War Diary reports that 22 Officers and 580 Other Ranks had been killed, wounded or were missing. Current figures show 6 Officers and 129 Other Ranks were killed on the 25th April. This included Private Albert Taylor, like many of his comrades who fell that day, he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings