TAYLOR, Alan Gordon Grant
(Service number 10/3404)
|Aliases||Sometimes known as Gordon|
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank||Corporal|
|Date||8 April 1893||Place of Birth||Waimate, South Canterbury|
|Date||23 August 1915||Age||22 years|
|Address at Enlistment||22 Kenwyn Terrace, Wellington|
|Occupation||Sheep station cadet|
|Previous Military Experience||2nd South Canterbury Regiment (still serving at time of enlistment)|
|Next of Kin||David Andrew TAYLOR (father), 22 Kenwyn Terrace, Wellington|
|Medical Information||Height 5 feet 10½ inches. Weight 10 stone. chest measurement 32-36 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair red. Sight - both eyes 6/6. Hearing and colour vision both normal. Limbs well formed. Full and perfect movement of joints. Chest well formed. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth sufficient. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Appendix operation March 1914. Appendix scar. Fit. On 14 January 1915 he had been assessed as medically unfit.|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||8th Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Wellington Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion|
|Date||13 November 1915|
|Transport||Willochra or Tofua|
|Embarked From||Wellington, New Zealand||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Wellington Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion|
|Campaigns||Egyptian; Egyptian Expeditionary Force; Western European (Somme)|
|Service Medals||1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||3 October 1916||Age||23 years|
|Place of Death||Somme, France|
|Cause||Killed in action|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Caterpillar Valley (New Zealand) Memorial, Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France|
|New Zealand Memorials||Knox Church, Waimate, Presbyterian Sunday School Roll of Honour|
Alan Gordon Grant Taylor, sometimes known as Gordon, was the son of a well-known Waimate storeman, David Andrew Taylor, and his Scottish-born wife, Isabella Lyon née Grant. The youngest of a family of seven, he was born on 8 April 1893 at Waimate and was just six years old when his mother died at Waimate. Alan started well at school, sharing first place in Infant School Class V at the Waimate District High School in 1900. His father who served on the school committee for six years and was associated with the Presbyterian Church, taking a keen interest in the Sunday School, had moved to Wellington by 1914.
At the time of enlistment, 23 August 1915, Alan was a sheep station cadet at Waihao Downs, South Canterbury. Standing 5 feet 10½ inches tall and weighing 10 stone, Alan was in good physical condition and in December 1914 had been assessed as medically fit, although in early January 1915 he was discharged from camp as medically unfit, but of good character. Alan was amongst those who had only just been sent to Trentham for the 3rd and 4th Reinforcements. Responding to a recruiting drive in Wellington, he registered again, and a medical assessment on 21 May 1915 appears to have satisfied authorities and enabled him to enlist. Alan was already serving with the 2nd South Canterbury Regiment (Territorial Forces).
Alan embarked on 13 November 1915 as a Private with the Wellington Infantry Regiment, destined for Egypt. Reaching Egypt just before Christmas 1915, he saw service there before transferring to the 2nd New Zealand Training Battalion and embarking for France per the ‘Kinfaune Castle’ in April 1916. There he was attached to the New Zealand Infantry and in July he was appointed temporary corporal. Before long he met his fate - “the price of victory” - on the Western Front. On 3 October 1916 Corporal A.G. Grant Taylor was killed in action at the Somme, and was buried close by. His name was reported in a big casualty list of 13 October 1916 - listing 175 of the dead.
His medals – 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, and Victory Medal – were sent to his father in the Wellington area, as were the plaque and scroll. The name of Alan Gordon Grant Taylor is forever inscribed on the Caterpillar Valley Memorial at Longueval, Somme, France.
Another fine young life lost to the ravages of war; another who did not get to vote; another who did not experience adulthood in its fullness. Is there a memorial in New Zealand where his name is inscribed in perpetuity?
His brothers Errol Grant-Taylor and Cuthbert Dallas Grant Taylor also served in World War One. The names Gordon and Dallas Taylor are recorded on the Waimate Knox Church Sunday School roll of honour, which was unveiled on 26 March 1916. Late in 1915 the “time had come to set down in order the names of ex-pupils of the Waimate Presbyterian Sunday School who had become soldiers of the Empire in the great fight for home and justice.”
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [29 April 2015]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK18805 W5553 0112150) [30 April 2015]; CWGC [29 April 2015]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [17 April 2015]; Waimate Daily Advertiser, 11 January 1900, 15 December 1900, Dominion, 16 January 1915, 15 May 1915, Evening Post, 14 May 1915, 14 October 1916, Otago Daily Times, 14 October 1916, Hawera & Normanby Star, 14 October 1916, Oamaru Mail, 14 October 1916, Ashburton Guardian, 14 October 1916, Timaru Herald, 14 October 1916, Free Lance, 3 November 1916 (Papers Past) [29 April 2015; 01 May 2016; 20 September 2016]; Cyclopedia of New Zealand (Canterbury) [20 September 2016]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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