Percy Taylor, Private 2309, 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons
Died 21st August 1916 in France, aged 22
Percy Taylor was born in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, on 5th June 1893, the son of Eliza and George Taylor, a blast furnace worker. Unfortunately Eliza became unwell and went into hospital, and in 1901, seven year old Percy was lodging at 1 Duke Yard, Duke St, Bulwell with his father and brothers Samuel Parr (12) and George Leonard Taylor (5). It appears that Percy’s father was unable to care for his two younger sons and daughter Elsie (born 1897): Percy and George Leonard (known as Leonard) were sent to Macclesfield Industrial School and Elsie went to 3 Redcar Terrace, Stockton Street, Bulwell, to live with her maternal grandfather, Samuel Parr, and his family.
Percy left Macclesfield Industrial School in 1908, when, on 5th August at the age of 15 years 2 months, he joined the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons in Macclesfield. Percy’s army service papers describe him as being 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighing 98 pounds, with a 30 inch chest, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair, and tattoo marks “9.7.6.” on his right forearm. Percy stated that he was born in Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, and his profession was “Musician”; another document in his records state that he was a “Tailor and Euphonium Player”.
A character reference was supplied by Mr Hind, the Superintendent of the Macclesfield Industrial School:
“I certify that Percy Taylor bears a good character, that his correct age is 15 2/12 years, and that he has passed Standard VI. He has full permission to join any branch of His Majesty’s Service.”
Percy named as his next of kin his father, George Taylor, who lived at 41 Quarry Rd, Bulwell, and his two brothers: his elder half-brother Samuel Steven Parr who lived at 3 Redcar Terrace, Stockton St, Bulwell, and his younger brother Leonard, who was at Macclesfield Industrial School in 1908 but who was living at 3 Redcar Terrace when Percy died in 1916. By 1908 Percy’s sister was married and he gave her name and address as Mrs Elsie Pickering of 9 White Cottages, Vernon Rd, Basford, Nottinghamshire.
Percy was appointed to the rank of “Trumpeter” on 1st December 1909 and became a “Private” on 5th June 1911, when he reached the age of 18. He received a good conduct badge on 5th August 1910, and another on 5th August 1911. However, he also committed five minor misdemeanors, such as being late on parade, for which he was confined to barracks for 3 days. These took place between July 1910 and December 1912 in Mhow, Muttra and Katouli in India; the 1911 census confirms Percy’s presence in the barracks at Mhow in India.
Percy’s army medical records show that in January 1912, whilst serving in India, he spent a few days in hospital after a ‘strain’ of the knee whilst playing football. A tooth was extracted on 4th March 1913, with Novocaine being used as an anaesthetic. The following month he broke three teeth – upper incisors – in an accident whilst on duty, and was transferred to Landour (in India) to be fitted with dentures.
Percy was already serving in the Army when war broke out and his army service records show that on 25th September 1914 he was given a character reference, stating that he was “a good musician and a smart clean young soldier”.
Percy was killed in action as a result of gas on 21st August 1916.
Private Percy Taylor is buried in Grave Ref. III. E. 10. of the Ecoivres Military Cemetery in Mont-St. Eloi, France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Percy Taylor.
In Macclesfield, Percy Taylor is commemorated on the Macclesfield Industrial School war memorial. Elsewhere, he is remembered on the war memorial at St Mary the Virgin and All Souls, Highbury Road, Bulwell, Nottingham.
Half-brother of Samuel Parr, who served as Driver 20232 with the Royal Field Artillery and survived the war.