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Fred Taylor was born in Bolton in 1896 the son of cotton mill worker William and Rebecca Taylor and in 1901 they lived at 375 Bury Road, Tong Fold Bolton. Fred would have 6 brothers and 3 sisters, one of his elder sisters’ Clara was the sweetheart of L/Cpl Alfred Guffogg, also 1/5th Bn, she claimed his service medals and plaque at the end of the war.

From an early age of 14yrs Fred became a plaiter in a bleach works according to the 1911 UK census, as he became older he was later employed as a bleacher. The family had at this time moved to 567 Bury Road, this was a larger  red brick terraced house, elevated from the main thoroughfare but with a walled front garden and rear yard, a home still standing today.

At the outbreak of hostilities Fred enlisted into the 1/5th batt L.N.L. (T.F.) for four years’ service on 23rd August 1915 and was given the number 6206. He was 19 yrs 4 months old and 5’6” in height. He was on home service from that date until 12th February 1917 when the battalion sailed for France. From 13th February the regiment was stationed at the Canal Bank at Ypres, a week later they were in the trenches around Wieltje, north east of the city.

He was promoted to L/Cpl 7th June 1916 and when the TF were renumbered in 1917 he was given the number 242878. He was promoted to Cpl on 27th November 1917 and is shown as a signaller.

He had served on the Somme and at Cambrai where, after initial success in the attack on the Hindenburg Line the 55th (West Lancashire) Division and in particular the 5th Bn LNL suffered heavy casualties and prisoners taken on the enemy counterattack 30th November 1917 on their retirement towards Epehy.

He was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatch of 8th November 1918 appearing in the London Gazette of 28th December 1918. In his existing service papers is the receipt in which he signed for the MiD emblem on 28th September 1919. He was awarded both the British War and Victory medals for his service.

In the Bolton Evening News of 31st January 1919 Taylor was presented with the Belgian Croix de Guerre by the mayor of Bolton, Lord Leverhulme at a ceremony at the Town Hall. It was stated that the honour was earned for good work in the field at Passchendaele in October 1917. The mayor voiced terms of warm congratulation and the town’s pride in such heroes and expressed his own personal pleasure in pinning the medal onto his breast.

He returned to England on 20th February 1919 and was officially demobbed 23rd March 1919.

His name appears on the Roll of Honour at the Trinity Wesleyan Church, Tong Fold, Bolton.

Garry Farmer
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2 Responses to 242878 CPL. F. TAYLOR. L.N.LAN.R.

  1. Peter Haslam says:

    Thank you for this information. My great aunt was married to Fred’s brother Harry Taylor.Would it be OK to share this information on my Ancestry site?

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