Charles Samuel Taylor was born in 1890, one of the seven children of William George Taylor (1861-1927) and Harriett Elisa Taylor née Dorey (1866-1912). His birth was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1890 in the Islington registration district, Middlesex (now Greater London).
When the 1891 census was undertaken on the night of Sunday, 5 April 1891 he was shown as aged 10 months living in two rooms at 10 St John Street, Islington, with his parents and his paternal uncle, John William Taylor (1858-1907). His father was described as a printer's compositor and his uncle as a baker.
In the 1901 census he is shown as living in three rooms at 41 Danbury Street, Islington, with his parents and three siblings: John William Carter Taylor (1891-1974), Osborn Percy Taylor (1893-1960) and Woollard James Taylor (1899-1903). His father was still listed as a printer's compositor.
On 17 February 1909 he enlisted for four years as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery Territorial Force at 105 Holland Road, Brixton, service number 597. On his attestation form he claimed to be living at 25 Cavendish Buildings, Clerkenwell Road, London, EC, and that he was three and a half years into a seven year printer's apprenticeship with Wyman & Sons, Fetter Lane, London, EC. Attached to the 6th London Brigade, he attended four annual training camps at: Salisbury 1/8/1909-15/8/1909, Chatham 24/7/1910-7/8/1910, Shorncliffe 6/8/1911-22/8/1911 and Salisbury 28/7/1912-4/8/1912. During his service he was promoted to Bombardier on 1 June 1911 and to Corporal on 1 June 1912. He was discharged in consequence of the termination of his engagement on 16 February 1913.
When his father completed the 1911 census return form he was described as a single man, aged 20 years and a compositor still living in three rooms at 25 Clerkenwell Buildings, Clerkenwell Road, with his parents and his two surviving siblings: John William Carter Taylor who shown as a chemist's assistant and Osborn Percy Taylor. Both his father and younger sibling where listed as compositors. The census form also confirms that his mother had given birth to a total of seven children but four had sadly already died.
In August 1914 he enlisted as a Lance Corporal in the 2nd (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), service number 1981 and entered France on 6 January 1915 in the Regiment's 1st/2nd Battalion. Service numbers were changed on 1 January 1917 and his became 230391. He was not only awarded the Military Medal (MM) but had also risen to the rank of Company Serjeant Major when he died of wounds, aged 28 years, on 17 September 1918. His body was buried in Plot 2, Row E, Grave 20 in the Windmill British Cemetery, 1 Rte nationale, 62118 Monchy-le-Preux, France.
On 10 April 1919 his army effects totalling £16-13s-1d were sent to his father who was also sent his £26-0s-0d war gratuity on 16 December 1919. He was posthumously awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal 1914-1918 and the Victory Medal and these were sent to his father at 7 Holsworthy Square, Elm Street, London, WC1.
He is shown as 'Serg.Maj. Charles S. Taylor 1st 2nd L' on the war memorial at St John the Evangelist Church, Duncan Terrace, London, N1. He is incorrectly commemorated (in 2023) with the service number of 230390 on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website and correctly on the Imperial War Museum's Lives of the First World War website.
Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.