Private Thomas Taylor

A white circle with a glove crossing it's fingers and the words: Made Possible with Heritage Fund.This man is a candidate for addition to Keighley's Supplementary Volume under the proposal to add further names in 2024, the centenary of the original roll of honour.
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Supported by the National Lottery's Heritage Fund, our project intends to submit about 120 names for peer review to add them to the book which is kept at Keighley Library. The unveiling of the book with it's new names is planned for November 2024, 100 years after the unveiling of the original war memorial.

Private. 2/7th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. Service no. 267179.

Previously 2/6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. Service no. 5097.

A black and white newspaper photo from 1918. It is a head and shoulders portrait of a man wearing a suit, shirt and tie.

Private Thomas Taylor.

Early life:

Thomas was born on 8th July 1890 at Morton, near Keighley and his birth was registered at Keighley in the third quarter of the same year. His parents were John Dixon Taylor and Elizabeth Ellen Taylor née Newbould.
Thomas was baptised at St. Luke's Church in East Morton on 16th August 1890. They were living at Moorlands and his father John was a labourer.
In the 1891 census they were still living at Moorlands in Morton and John aged 29 was working as a stone mason's labourer. Elizabeth was aged 31. Thomas was just 9 months of age and had an older brother William Hilton aged four and an older sister Edith aged two.

By the time of the 1901 census they had moved to Dean Hole Farm and Thomas was ten and at school. John was a stone mason and farmer aged 40. Elizabeth was also 40. Their other children were William H. aged 14 and a worsted spinner; Edith aged 12 and at school; Annie aged nine and at school; James aged three and Alice aged 8 months.

In the 1911 census Thomas was aged 20 and still living with his parents at Dean Farm, West Morton. He was working in his 49 year old father's business and he was a Contractor and Mason in the building trade. Mother Elizabeth was 51 and she had been married to John for 26 years with six children, all of whom were still alive.
Annie was aged 19 and a worsted spinner; James was 13 and a part time schoolchild and worsted spinner; Alice was ten and at school full time.

Thomas was 25 when he married 21 year old spinster Cordelia Mary Wall on 26th January 1916 at the Holy Trinity Church, Lawkholme Lane in Keighley. He was a bachelor and stonemason and they were both living at 21, Dove Street in Keighley at that time and their marriage was registered at Keighley in the first quarter of the year.
Their son John Hilton Taylor was born in Keighley and registered there in the third quarter of the year.

War service:

John attested at Bingley on 3rd December 1915, probably in the Derby Scheme. He was a resident of Keighley, aged 25 years and four months and employed as a stone mason. He joined the 2/6th West Riding Regiment with the service number 5097 and his enlistment was approved when he was mobilised at Halifax on 22nd March 1916. He had not served with any branch of the military prior to this and he agreed to 'General Service' for the duration of the war.
His medical details were, height: 5 feet 6 inches with a 34 inch chest and his next of kin was his father, John Dixon Taylor of Dean Farm, West Morton.
There are only three sheets of his Army service record remaining so the information is scant.
His medal records confirm he served overseas, but he did not enter a war theatre until after 1st January 1916.

At some point he was transferred from the 2/6th Battalion West Riding Regiment to the 2/7th Battalion West Riding Regiment and allocated a new service number 267179, probably just before, or as he went overseas because his earlier number does not appear on his medal records.

He was serving with the 2/7th Battalion Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, when he was killed in action on 21st May 1918. He was 27 years of age.

National Archives War Diary.

2/7th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. WO-95/3087/2:
18/5/19: 6 am:
A party of the enemy were seen & engaged in BOCQUOY CEMETERY. The enemy fled leaving one man killed. He belonged to the 164th I.I. 111 Division. Enemy quiet. Weather fine.
Enemy artillery active on our supports. Our patrols active. The work in hand was carried on.
Enemy artillery still very active. The enemy sent up a great number of 'Very Lights' during the night.
Enemy artillery less active. A good deal of transport heard during the night.
Enemy artillery eventually quiet. Much movement was seen during the day. The weather was still extremely hot & aeroplanes took advantage of this fine spell.

John's body was buried in Bienvillers Military Cemetery in France and he is in grave 9 of row A, in plot XX. The family inscription on his headstone is 'Rest in Peace.'

Keighley News Saturday 15th June 1918, page 3:

Mrs. Taylor has received official information that her husband, Private Tom Taylor, of the West Riding Regiment, whose parents reside at 14, Laythorpe Terrace, Morton, was killed in action on May 21. Private Taylor was 27 years of age, and leaves a widow and one child. He joined the Army in March, 1916, went to France in January, 1917, and prior to enlistment was in business with his father, Mr. John Taylor, builder and contractor, Morton.

His wife Cordelia was living at 9, Craven Road in Keighley after the war. This was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Oates, and Cordelia was boarding with them in the 1921 census with her son John Hilton, aged four years and nine months.
Thomas's widow Cordelia was his next of kin and the sole legatee in his will. She received a grant payment of £6 on 10th June 1918 and his remaining Army pay as a one off payment of £6 13s 2d on 26th August 1918. She later received a war gratuity payment of £9 on 28th November 1919.
She was also in receipt of a Dependant's pension for herself and their son John Hilton Taylor. This was 20s 5d per week beginning on 9th December 1918. For John Hilton it was to run until his 16th birthday on 11th September 1932. When the pension began Cordelia was living at 21, Dove Street in Keighley.
The element for Cordelia would likely have ended in 1924 when she was remarried, to Sebastian F. Trietlin in the first quarter of the year at Liverpool.

Later they were living at 48, Thompson Street in Shipley.
In the 1939 register, Cordelia and John Hilton were with Sebastian at 13, Hoxton Street in Bradford. Sebastian was a club steward and Cordelia was on home duties. They appear to have two of their own children as well as Cordelia's son John Hilton who was a shop assistant for a pork butcher.

Cordelia died in 1971 aged 78. Her son John Hilton Taylor died in 2004, aged 87.

Information sources:

England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
British Army World War I Service Records, 1914-1920
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935
National Archives War Diary. 2/7th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. WO-95/3087/2:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
Keighley News archives at Keighley Library
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923
British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007
1921 Census Of England & Wales
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
1939 England and Wales Register
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007

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