Private 8612 George Stanley Taylor

 Taylor George Stanley 96 453x600

Killed in Action on Sunday, 16th May 1915, age 23.
Buried in Grave VI. H. 26. at Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, Pas De Calais, France.

2nd Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 5th Brigade of 2nd Division.

Husband of Mrs Elsie May Taylor, of 2 Dog Yard, Park Lane West, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 11th November 1914.
Medal entitlement: 1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the St. Matthew's Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/195495/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
43 Union Street, Tipton, Staffs.
John Taylor (52, Iron Worker, born Dudley) and his wife Martha (50, born Dudley), their son Frederick (19, Iron Worker, born Tipton), their adopted son George Stanley Moth (9, born Tipton), and their grandson William Walker (5, born Dudley).

I cannot trace George on the 1911 census, but his adoptive parents were still alive:

1911 Census
Court 6 House 2, Hall Street, Tipton, Staffs
John Taylor (62, Iron Worker, born Tipton) and his wife Martha (59, born Kate's Hill, Dudley), and their grandson William Walker (15, born Kate's Hill, Dudley).

Marriage of George S. Taylor and Elsie M. Langford registered December quarter 1912 in Dudley. They had two children: Emma May (born 16th March 1913) and Elsie (born 10th December 1914).

Personal Data

George Taylor's birth was registered in Dudley in December quarter 1891 as George Stanley P. Moth. On the 1901 census, he was recorded as the adopted son of John and Martha Taylor.

George enlisted with the 5th Battalion (Special Reserves) of the Worcestershire Regiment on 11th January 1911 for a period of 6 years. He was 19 years and 3 months old, 5 feet 4¾ inches tall with a 36½-inch chest, weighed 138 pounds, and had blue eyes and brown hair. His occupation was given as Striker, and he was recorded as being Church of England.

The 5th Battalion Worcesters had been at their annual camp from the 13th July 1914; when war was declared on 4th August 1914 they were instantly recalled. As a Reservist, George was mobilised on 5th August 1914, and on the 11th November he crossed to France. He was posted to the 2nd Battalion Worcesters, one of the drafts filling the severe losses from the first Battle of Ypres.

After the Battle of Festubert on 16th May 1915, George was posted as missing, it was not until 12th October 1915 that a Court of Enquiry confirmed him as' Killed in Action - 15th/16th May 1915 at Festubert'. At some stage George's body was identified, as he is buried in Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy.

His widow, Elsie, was awarded a pension of 18/6d per week for herself and the two children. In 1919, the Army form 'Statement of Living Relatives' was completed and showed George's widow, Mrs Elsie May Taylor and their children Emma May and Elsie, living at 2 Dog Yard, Park Lane West, Tipton. His mother was Martha Taylor (67), and siblings Emma (39) and Frederick (37).

After George's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £6/18/9d (6 pounds, 18 shillings and 9 pence); this was paid to his widow, Elsie May, in February 1916. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his widow in September 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that George had enlisted within the previous 12 months. As George landed in France on 11th November 1914, it is likely that he had been a pre-war Reservist with the Worcesters.

George is commemorated on the St. Mattew's Memorial as S. Taylor.

Action resulting in his death

Battle of Festubert 16th May 1915, from "The History of the Worcesterhire Regiment" by Stacke.
The Worcestershire Companies rose to their feet and plunged forward through the mud. Surprise was now impossible; the German flares lit up the scene and the companies had some 200 yards to traverse before they could close with the enemy.

In the changing light of the flares, control was difficult - companies and platoons became disordered; officers and men fell in rapid succession under a hail of bullets. The survivors rushed on in little groups up to the German wire entanglements. The majority of the attackers were either shot down or driven by the fire to shelter in such cover as was afforded by shell holes or small folds in the ground.

The Worcestershire platoons made their way back as best they could to billets behind the line. When all were collected it was found that over 250 of all ranks had been lost. This included 4 Tipton men who were to lose their lives: Parkes, Griffiths, Southall and Taylor. George Parkes and George Taylor are buried in Guards Cemetery, at Windy Corner, Cuinchy.

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