William Henry TAYLOR

TAYLOR, William Henry

Service Number: 2448
Enlisted: 5 May 1915, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 12th Machine Gun Company
Born: Cranely, England, 21 December 1896
Home Town: Cheltenham, Bayside, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Boot maker
Died: Natural causes (sudden), Cheltenham, Victoria, 4 March 1954, aged 57 years
Cemetery: Cheltenham (Pioneer) Cemetery, Victoria
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World War 1 Service

5 May 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2448, Melbourne, Victoria
10 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2448, 14th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
10 Aug 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2448, 14th Infantry Battalion, RMS Persia, Melbourne
28 Oct 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2448, 14th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
19 Mar 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 12th Machine Gun Company
24 Apr 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 12th Machine Gun Company
14 Aug 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 2448, 12th Machine Gun Company, Battle for Pozières , GSW (knee - partial amputation)
9 Aug 1917: Discharged AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 2448, 12th Machine Gun Company

My Grandfather - William Taylor

William Henry Taylor was born in Cranely, England but was in Australia at the time WWI broke out. He enlisted on May 5, 1915 in Melbourne and was formally recruited into the 7th Reinforcement of the 14th Battalion, 1st AIF on 28 May, 1915, aged 19 1/2 years of age. He was shipped out of Melbourne on the RMS Persia on 10 August, 1915 to Mudros, there to commence training and further deployment.

He needed to spend some time back Mudros with jaundice before eventually becoming well enough to resume duties. He was transferred to the 46th Battalion, 12th Machine Gun company and disembarked at Marseilles to fight in action for two months before being injured in Pozieres. He was hit in the left knee by a shell and had to be shipped to England for treatment, where his left leg was amputated at mid-thigh. He went through a period of convalescence before returning to Australia via Devonport on the Themistocles. He was discharged from the army on 9 August 1917. During his service, he was promoted to Corporal on 24 April 1916.

William went on to marry Kathleen, and have three daughters, one of whom was my mother. He enlisted in the army again for the WWII campaign and worked in 9 Australian Ordnance Stores Company from 1940 to his time of discharge in 1945, having made the rank of Staff Sergeant. Some of his time was working with the Bootmakers Trade Group but it is unclear from his service record whether he remained there the whole time of service.

On discharge, he continued working as a boot maker. He died at his home in Cheltenham in 1954, aged 58 years. My mother always said that is was the effect of mustard gas that shortened his life. His active service to his new country was relatively short, having been one of the thousands of wounded on the bloody fields of France, but he was fortunate to have recovered and returned to Australia to live a reasonable life, unlike so many who lost their lives in service. He felt the need to continue his service to country during the second World War, even though an amputee. He was only a short man in stature, but a big man in heart. I never met my grandfather, William Henry Taylor, but I thank him as one of the many ordinary but extraordinary men who gave service to his country.

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