Son of Mr. Roland Joseph Taylor and Mrs. Matilda Taylor of 9, Herbert St, Congleton, Cheshire, and then 21, Park Street and Danebank Lodge, Lower Heath, Congleton, Cheshire. He had two sisters Alice M. and Matilda Taylor along with one brother Frederick Taylor Prior to enlistment he was employed as a Gardener at Somerford Park.
William enlisted in the Machine Gun Corp on the 5th of August 1916 at the age of 18. He was mobilised on the 5th of December 1916 with a posting to the 62nd Training Reserve Battalion. On the 2nd of February 1917, he was transferred to the 3 rd Battalion. He embarked from Folkestone on the 10th of April 1917 arriving in Boulogne the same day, from where he joined the Base Depot at Carniers. On the 23 rd of April he was posted to the 86th Company in the field. A promotion to unpaid Lance Corporal was made on the 6th of June 1917. He attended an R.F.C. Course from the 27th of January to the 22 nd of February before returning to England for two weeks leave, When he re-joined his unit, it had become the 29th
Battalion due to the amalgamation of four Companies including the 86th. He was appointed Acting Corporal on the 18th of February 1918.
William was awarded the Military Medal extract from the local press.
The glorious part taken by Congleton lads in the war is best illustrated by the (Haig mentions) and the number of awards conferred and when the full story of their exploits comes to be written it will be found they are unsurpassed in this, the greatest of all wars. But it is not too soon to record that another Military Medal has been won by a Congleton lad, Lance Corporal William Taylor, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Taylor of Danebank Lodge. The record shows that he received this award (for gallant work in the field) on the 4th of October and in a letter home the recipient of the honour says I am glad to tell you that I have been awarded the Military Medal for work on the 4th of October. Our officer was wounded just after we started, but I went on with the team. I came across another of our teams, the Lance Corporal of which had also been wounded. I took charge of both teams and put the two guns in position. We were presented with the ribbons the other day and after the General had pinned them on he shook hands with us.
On the 1st of March 1918, the 29th Battalion the Machine Gun Corp were situated at Steenvoorde in Northern France where they were practising for a ceremonial parade which took place the following day. General Training took place until the 7th of March when at 14 00 hours they marched to Godewaersvelde where they entrained for Ypres (now Ieper) arriving there at 15 30 hours. The transport went by road. On arriving at Ypres, "A" "B" "C" and "D" Company’s marched to Irish Farm Camp, Wieltje, while Battalion H.Q. went to their camp at Dead End, Ypres. All transport was at Dead End. On the 8th of March the Battalion marched to the Goudberg Sector, north of Passchendaele where they relieved the 8th Battalion the Machine Gun Corp. "C" Company relieved the right Sector, with their H.Q. at Lamkeek. "D" Company relieved the left Sector with their H.Q. near the Pill Box 83. "B" Company relieved the Support Company with their H.Q. at Gallipoli. "A" Company remained in Reserve at Dead End. On the 11th of March the enemy raided the Division on the right of Vat Cottages, north of Passchendaele. The 2nd Battalion, the South Wales Borderers were in the front line and repelled the raid, capturing one prisoner. The guns of the Battalion did good work in assisting the infantry firing about 30,000 rounds on the SOS Line. The Brigade in the line were most appreciative of the good work done. Lance Corporal William Taylor was in the line on the 11th of March 1918 and was wounded and brought down in a dying state to the Dressing Station. Every effort was made to save him but he died at 15 00 hours He was buried in the Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Leper, Belgium behind the lines, a beautifully kept place.
Extract from The Congleton Chronicle 1918.
The inhabitants of Lower Heath, Giantswood Lane, and The Avenue, offer sincerest regret and deepest sympathy to Mr. and Mrs. Roland Taylor and other members of the family in their sad bereavement and the irreparable loss they have sustained by the death of their son Lance Corporal Taylor in France. He was young, brave, fearless, and only quite recently brought honour to the district and distinguished himself by gaining the Military Medal. A large circle of friends mourn his untimely loss.
William is buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery Grave Ref: III.D.1
Picture taken by Cheshire County Memorial Project.
Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John and Christopher Pullen for researching and compiling this work on William.