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St James Church Taunton

World War 1 Memorial Project

Harold Richard Taylor


Name: Harold Richard Taylor

Rank: 2nd Lieutenant

Service Number: ?

Regiment: Queen Mary's Surrey Yeomanry / MGC

Battalion/Unit number: 2/1st Battalion QMSY, 77th Company MGC (26th Division)

Date/year of Birth: c. 1889

Place of Birth: Taunton

Place of Residence: in 1911 he was living at 21 High Street, Malmesbury (previously Roslin, Richmond Road, Taunton)

Date of Death: 17th March 1917

Place of Death: Salonika, Greece

Burial/Memorial: Sarigol Military Cemetery, Kriston, Greece

Harold Taylor was the eldest son of Theophilus and Elizabeth Taylor (nee Uttamare).  He had three sisters Florence, Alice and Nora and two brother's Bernard and Theophilus. The family lived at Roslin Villa in Richmond Road where the Taylor family owned a glove making factory, started by Harold's grandfather Thomas. Harold was educated at Taunton School and his name appears on the Taunton School war memorial. He was articled to W.J. Villiers & Co auctioneers of Taunton and in 1911 was living in Malmsbury where his occupation was recorded as an Auctioneers clerk.

While in Taunton he joined the West Somerset Yeomanry in February 1910 aged 20 as a trooper.  On moving to Malmesbury five months later he transferred to the Wiltshire Regiment.  At the outbreak of war he was engaged in the Government Valuation Department, and was mobilised with his unit. At that time he was a Corporal with B Squadron, which was initially based in England and was posted to France in March 1916. By this time Harold had been given a commission on 21st December 1915 and was posted to the 2/1st Queen Mary Surrey Yeomanry. This battalion served as a reserve and training battalion for the 1/1st Battalion and was based mainly in the South East of England.  In July 1916 it was converted to a Cyclist unit and later merged with the Sussex Cyclist to form the 8th Surrey and Sussex Cyclist Regiment.  However at some point Harold was posted to the 77th Machine Gun Company which was part of the 26th Brigade which had been serving in Greece since November 1915 as part of the allied expeditionary force in Thessalonkia engaged in operations against pro-German Bulgaria.  There was fierce fighting during this period and the Bulgarians strongly and successfully resisted the allied offensive.

Harold was wounded on the 14th March 1917, and died of his wounds three days later at the 31st Casualty Clearing Station, Salonika.  He left a will and his father was named as executor, however it has not been possible to find an officer file for him at the National Archive. His father died in 1918.

Harold's brother, Bernard, was also a serving officer in the Royal Field Artillery and was wounded in France in January 1916 having been shot in the thigh.

The picture above reproduced with permission shows Theophilus and his wife Elizabeth with their young family.



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