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TAYLOR, Thomas Morton (1887-1955) – Worcestershire Regiment

Pte Thomas Morton Taylor (1888-1955), first enlisted in the 5th Battalion, Worcestershire Regt (No 7311) on 26th July 1904 when he was aged 17 years and 9 months.  He enlisted a second time in the same Regiment (No. 9374) on 15th August 1905, whilst still serving, and signed on for 9 years plus 3 years in the Reserves.  He served in Malta in 1905-06 and India 1908-12, being promoted to unpaid Lance Corporal on 1st October 1906 and paid L/Cpl on 4th March 1907.   He moved to the Reserves in 1912.

Thomas was not related to the other Taylors from Wickhamford who served in the war.  He had been born at Hampton, Evesham, the fifth child of Thomas and Rachel Taylor.  He married Catherine Mary Freeman on 19th April 1913 in Wickhamford; she had been a servant in the Moss-Blundell household in 1911.  They sailed for Montreal, Canada, on the SS Ausonia on 24th April 1913; a son, Charles Thomas, was born in Canada in April 1914.  At the outbreak of War he became a Reservist in the Royal Canadian Highlanders, with recruiting duties. He returned to England with the first Canadian detachments and Thomas then rejoined the Worcestershire Regiment on 9th September 1914 and went to the 6th Battalion.

Thomas Morton Taylor landed in France on 20th September and served there until 18th February 1916 when he was sent to Sutton Coldfield to be discharged as physically unfit for war service, on 17th June 1916.   Despite his discharge he later enlisted as a gunner (No 204025) in the Royal Garrison Artillery (24th Fire Command).  He was discharged from the Army on 11th February 1919.  His medals record lists the Victory Medal and British War Medal, but the 1914 Star is not mentioned there.  However, in the newspaper article below it is stated that he had the '1914 Star with bar'. He was issued with the Silver War Badge on 5th November 1920.  

Thomas went to live at Wickhamford after his discharge.  Two more children were born and baptized in the church.  In the 1939 Register he is listed as living at 18 Council Cottages, Wickhamford, with the occupation of painter; his date of birth is given as 29th November 1887.  After the outbreak of the Second World War he re-enlisted, this time in a Field Company of the Royal Engineers,  although aged over 50.  His son, Henry Morton Taylor, was killed in 1942, after serving in North Africa.   Thomas and Catherine remained living at Wickhamford for the rest of their lives, both dying in 1955.

The article below summaries Thomas Morton Taylor' service career, but some dates, e.g. of his first enlistment, are a little at variance with the surviving service records.

 

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Article from The Evesham Journal (copyright and courtesy of The Evesham Journal)