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

Enlistment Information

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)
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin David Andrew TAYLOR (father), 22 Kenwyn Terrace, Wellington
Religion Presbyterian
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.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

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

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian; Egyptian Expeditionary Force; Western European (Somme)
Service Medals 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


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
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials Knox Church, Waimate, Presbyterian Sunday School Roll of Honour

Biographical Notes

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]

External Links

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to


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