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Thomas Taylor was born on or about 22 March 1891, just two weeks before the 1891 Census.  His father was Charles Frederick Taylor (b. 1869 in Preston).  Charles was originally a cotton weaver but by 1911 he was a barber at 3 Hope Terrace, Lostock Hall (where he continued to live until he died in 1950).  His mother was Mary Ann Haythornthwaite (b. 1869 in Kirkham).  Charles and Mary Ann were married in Preston in 1890 and Thomas was born the following year.  The family moved to Lostock Hall in 1892, and that is where Thomas’s siblings were born: Theresa (b. 1893), Alfred (b. 1895) and Edith (b. 1897).  In 1911, Tom was working as a weaver in the mill.


Sometime between 1911 and 1915, Tom moved to Preston.  When he attested on 8 November 1915, he was living at 6 Ainslie Road, Fulwood, and gives his occupation as brewer.  He was 5’ 3½” tall and weighed 112 lbs.  On his form, Tom expresses a preference to be assigned to the RFA but he was eventually posted to 21 Battalion, the Manchester Regiment, with service number 32340.  He was not immediately posted abroad.  In fact, on 23 September 1916 he married Grace Stocks (b. 1895 in Preston) at English Martyrs Church on Garstang Road and shortly after his marriage he was in an army hospital in Cleethorpes.  He was finally posted to France on 12 January 1917.  He joined his Battalion in the field on 24 January.


A year later, on 6 January 1918, Tom went with his Battalion to Italy.  Tom was granted 14 days’ leave, from 23 June – 7 July 1918 and he then returned to Italy.  The Battalion left Italy on 13 September 1918 and returned to France, where it came under orders of 7th Brigade in 25th Division.  When his Battalion joined the Division they were engaged in the more or less continuous and eventually victorious advance through Picardy.  They fought in various phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line, specifically at Beaurevoir on 3 October – where fighting for this well defended position went on until 7 October, by which time a 3000 yard advance had been made despite heavy casualties.  508 German prisoners were taken.  It was here that Tom was killed in action on 4 October 1918.  An Australian Gunner, who was wounded in the same action where Tom was killed, wrote to Tom’s wife expressing his condolences and describing the event where Tom was killed by heavy machinegun fire.  He was 27 years old.  1 officer and 40 men from 21 Bn were killed between 3-7 October.


Rank:  Private

Service No:  32340

Date of Death:  04/10/1918

Regiment/Service:  Manchester Regiment, 21st Bn.

Panel Reference:  Panel 9.


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