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Charles Harry Taylor was born in Wolverhampton in 1885, the son of George Isaac and Annie Taylor. In 1901, the family were living at 2 Drummond Street, together with Charles’s brothers Frederick H. and George B. By this date, the sixteen-year old Charles (here known as “Harry C.”), was a solicitors clerk. He first worked for Wolverhampton Education Authority until January 1905, when he left to work at Chelmsford under the Education Committee of Essex County Council. In June 1913, he joined the accountancy department of Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron, and Coal Co., Ltd, at Ebbw Vale.

On the outbreak of war, he enlisted in the Gloucester Hussars (Yeomanry), with whom he served until March 1915. He was then commissioned, first as second-lieutenant and later full lieutenant, with the 10th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment. Having “rendered good service” and being “occupied continuously with the duties imposed upon him”, he succumbed to rheumatism and shock, and was granted leave of absence to visit his mother and relatives. Unfortunately, he was transported on the ill-fated hospital ship, HMHS Anglia, from Calais back to Dover. On the night of 17 November 1915, the ship hit a German mine, and sunk within fifteen minutes, killing 164 out of the 390 (mainly injured officers and soldiers) on board. One of the men who died was Charles Taylor. An article appeared about him, including a photograph, in the Midland Counties Express on 11 December 1915, however his first name was given as “Harry”. He is commemorated at Wolverhampton Borough Cemetery, on the same grave as that of his parents, who unfortunately both died the same year – his father, George, on 16 February, and his mother, Annie, on 18 November, the day after her son. A photograph of this grave appears on Martin Nicholson’s cemetery site.

 

 

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