Per his military service record (regimental no. 2253), James Taylor was born at Shadforth, N.S.W.[1] He gave his age as 21 years and 4 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 5 inches tall, weight 10 stone 4 lbs., with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had no previous military service.

The Wellington Times named ‘James Taylor, son of Mr. Taylor, of the cyanide works’ as one of six recruits who ‘handed in their names’ after a recruiting address was given at Bodangora by Private W. J. Johnson (who was also the Mayor of Auburn), who was accompanying the Coo-ees from Wellington to Orange to assist with the recruiting speeches.[2] He was one of three recruits (along with Leslie J. Sullivan), who were driven in to Wellington the next morning to join the Coo-ees.[3]

James Taylor completed his medical examination at Wellington on 16th October 1915 (the day the Coo-ees arrived at Wellington. It appears that James Taylor decided to go home to Shadforth near Orange first before joining the Coo-ee March, as written on the top of the first page in his service record is that he ‘Presented himself at Orange 25/10/15’.[4]

‘James Taylor (Shadforth)’ was named with three other men in the Leader on 22nd October 1915 as having ‘volunteered to join in the Coo-ee march as recruits when they arrive in Orange’.[5]

He was attested by Captain T. A. Nicholas at Orange on 25th October 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Orange to Millthorpe).

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp and joined the 15th reinforcements for the 1st Light Horse Regiment.

The Wellington Times reported that at a farewell held for Trooper Leslie Sullivan at Bodangora on 7th February 1916, he  was entrusted  with a ‘fountain pen in a silver case’ to give to ‘Trooper Jimmy Taylor’, who had enlisted  with him from Bodangora.[6]

The Leader reported that Private Taylor was given a send-off at Shadforth in early February 1916, where ‘he was presented with a gold wristlet watch and a safety razor, as a token of esteem and good will of the people of Shadforth’.[7]

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Shadforth, via Lucknow, N.S.W.[8] His next of kin was listed as his father, John Taylor, at the same address.

On 21st March 1916 Trooper Taylor departed Sydney on the HMAT A26 Armadale with the 15th reinforcements for the 1st Light Horse Regiment.

After arriving in Egypt, he was taken on strength of the 1st Light Horse Training Regiment on 24th April 1916 at Tel-el-Kebir.

On 15th May 1916 Trooper Taylor was transferred to the Artillery Details at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt.

On 28th May 1916 Gunner Taylor left Alexandria aboard the H.M.T. Corscian, bound for England.  He arrived at Plymouth on 12th June 1916.

On 29th June 1916 Gunner Taylor left Southampton aboard the tansport Duchess of Argyll, bound for France.  He disembarked at Rouen on 30th June 1916. He was attached to the 4th Division Ammunition Sub-Park.  He was transferred to this unit on 15th November 1916.

On 10th August 1917 Gunner Taylor was sent to the 15th Corps Rest Station with an injury to his knee. He re-joined his unit on 15th August 1917.

On 22nd September 1917 Gunner Taylor was granted leave to England. He returned from leave on 4th October 1917.

On 8th October 1917 Gunner Taylor was admitted to the 18th Casualty Clearing Station sick. On 11th October 1917 he was sent to the 7th Convalescent Depot at Boulogne, France. On 13th October 1917 he was transferred to the 39th General Hospital.

He was discharged from hospital on 10th January 1918, and sent to the Base Depot at Le Harve, France.

On 24th January 1918 Gunner Taylor marched out to join the 6th Army Brigade Australian Field Artillery Park Section, which he joined on 27th January 1918.

On 27th June 1918 Gunner Taylor was transferred to the 11th Battery  4th Australian Field Artillery Brigade.

On 18th September 1918 Gunner Taylor was wounded in action in France receiving  gunshot wounds to both thighs. He was moved back to an Australian Field Ambulance, then to the 20th Casualty Clearing Station, where he was placed aboard the 3rd Ambulance Train. He was admitted to a hospital at Rouen on 19th September 1918.

On 21st September 1918 he was placed aboard a hospital ship for evacuation to England. On 22nd of September 1918 he was admitted to the Alexandra Hospital at Cosham, England, with a severe gunshot wound to the thigh.

On 12th November 1918 he was transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford, England. He was discharged from hospital on 15th November 1918, and granted leave to report to the No. 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs, England, on 29th November 1918.

On 14th January 1919 Gunner Taylor left England on the H.T. City of York, bound for Australia.

He arrived in Australia on 27th February 1919.

He missed a welcome home that had been held for him and another local soldier on Friday evening, 7th March 1919, when ‘many Shadforth and Millthorpe residents assembled at the local railway station’ to greet them both, as he had been ‘detained in hospital’.[9]

The Leader reported on 12th March 1919 that ‘Private James Taylor arrived home last week unexpectedly’, and had been ‘in town’ and ‘looks well, although he says he has had some very rough experiences, but, now that he is back, he has no complaints’.[10]

He was discharged medically unfit on 9th May 1919.


[1] NAA: B2455, TAYLOR J

[2] DISTRICT NEWS. Bodangora. (1915, October 21). Wellington Times (NSW : 1899 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved July 15, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article143396661

[3] DISTRICT NEWS. Bodangora. (1915, October 21). Wellington Times (NSW : 1899 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved July 15, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article143396661

[4] NAA: B2455, TAYLOR J

[5] RECRUITS FOR THE COO-EES (1915, October 22). Leader (Orange, NSW : 1912 – 1922), p. 6. Retrieved February 28, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117842491

[6] SEND OFF TO TROOPER LESLIE SULLIVAN. (1916, February 10). Wellington Times (NSW : 1899 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved July 29, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article143392079

[7] Millthorpe News, Send-off to Pte. J. Taylor’,  Leader, 11 February 1916, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117790612

[8] Australia War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Roll, James Taylor, HMAT Armadate A26, 21st March 1916.

[9] PRIVATE HUSSELL RODWELL BACK HOME. (1919, March 10). Leader (Orange, NSW : 1912 – 1922), p. 6. Retrieved July 29, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117856581

[10] PERSONAL. (1919, March 12). Leader (Orange, NSW : 1912 – 1922), p. 3. Retrieved July 29, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117856700


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