TAYLOR, Thomas Henry

NAME:  Thomas Henry TAYLOR                                                                                             

SERVICE NO:  3643

YEAR OF BIRTH:  1900 

PLACE OF BIRTH:  Hamilton

DATE OF ENLISTMENT: 16 June 1916

PLACE OF ENLISTMENT:  Melbourne

AGE AT ENLISTMENT:  16

UNIT: 4th Light Horse Regiment, 28th Reinforcements

EMBARKED: 7 September 1917

TROOPSHIP: HMAT A55 Kyarra

FATE:  Killed in Action – 2 May 1918 – Palestine

 

Graphic of Australia (Melbourne, Vic. : 1916 – 1918), p. 17. Retrieved April 10, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article153586422

Born at Hamilton in 1900, Thomas Taylor was one of ten children born to saddler William Walker Taylor and Isabella Drever. The family lived in Mount Baimbridge Road and Thomas attended Hamilton State School.  By 1913, the Taylors had moved to Orchard Street, Malvern.  When the war broke, Thomas’ elder brother George enlisted on 22 October 1914.  He went overseas but returned to Australia in May 1915.  Then another brother Robert enlisted in January 1916 at the age of eighteen years and one month. 

Thomas was working as a warehouse assistant but was keen to follow his brothers. On 16 June 1916, Thomas enlisted.  He was sixteen but he gave his age as eighteen years and two months. He noted he had spent three years with the senior cadets and did have written consent but only if he did not go overseas until he was nineteen.  

Image courtesy of the National Archives of Australia https://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/records/79635/41

He also provided his parents’ consent on his application form.

Image courtesy of the National Archives of Australia https://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/records/79635/15

Thomas didn’t go overseas straight away. Instead, he spent fourteen months in Melbourne at the Royal Park Depot.  On 8 August 1916, Robert was killed at Pozieres, France just eight months after enlisting.  Robert’s death compelled his father to enlisted and he did so on 22 June 1917 at the age of forty-four. Thomas’s time arrived to go overseas and he left with the 4th Light Horse Regiment (4th LHR), 28th Reinforcements on 7 September 1917.  He was still seventeen, not nineteen as required.

Thomas arrived in Egypt at the end of October and joined the 4th LHR at Moascar. During December he spent a few weeks with the 4th LHR Training regiment before returning in late December while they were at Shilta in Palestine. His father had arrived in Egypt with the Field Company Engineers. He was there for a month before going on to England. On 2 May 1918, Thomas was killed in action in Palestine.

At the time, William was preparing to leave for France. He was only in France a matter of weeks when he contracted trench feet and eventually returned to Australia.

Thomas Taylor’s name is on Hamilton’s Christ Chuch Anglican Church and the Malvern War Memorial along with that of his brother Robert.

ONLINE SOURCES

 Australian War Memorial – Roll of Honour – Thomas Henry Taylor

Australian War Memorial WW1 Embarkation Roll – Thomas Henry Taylor

Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Jerusalem Memorial – Thomas Henry Taylor

Discovering Anzacs – WW1 Service Record – Thomas Henry Taylor

Newspaper Articles from Trove – Thomas Henry Taylor   

The AIF Project – Thomas Henry Taylor