No.12686, Lance Corporal, Frank TAYLOR
Aged 31

12th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Friday, 12th April 1918

Frank Taylor was born in Stansfield in 1887 (Risbridge Q2-1887 4A:655), son of William and Eliza TAYLOR (née MASON).

1891 census...Aged 3, he was at The Hill, Stansfield with his father William TAYLOR [43] farm labourer; his mother Eliza [38] born Hawkedon; sisters Bertha [16] and Maud [8]; brother Robert [11] a farm labourer; grandfather Henry TAYLOR [75] and father's cousin George TAYLOR [31]. All except his mother were born in Stansfield.

1901 census... Aged 13, he was still at The Hill with his parents and brother Robert.

1911 census... Aged 23, he was still at The Hill with his parents, brother Robert (horsekeeper) and a visitor May MASON [12]

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds.
The battalion war diary has:-
9/10/11/12...Enemy attacked on 11 mile front. Battalion in action at 9.30 am continued in action until 4.30 pm 13th April when they marched to Bavinchove.

Lt Col Murphy in "History of the Suffolk Regiment" explains that they gradually withdrew from Fleurbaix, fought a rearguard action at Fort Rompu and then crossed the Lys, dug in at Nieppebut then withdraw again to Strazeele and eventually to Proven.

CWGC has 50 of the 12th Suffolks killed on the 12th, only 6 with known grave. Figures are unlikely to be completely accurate as the action was so fluid at the time and must have depended on German figures as well.. In fact the "Personal Effects" entry for Frank, and his medal index card both give his death as between 8th and 12th April.

The Bury Free Press of 8th June reported:-

Mr. and Mrs. Wm.Taylor of Plough Hill, Stansfield have recently been officially informed that their son, Lce-Cpl. Frank Taylor, 12th Suffolk Regiment was killed in action on the western front between 8th and 12th April 1918. Sincere sympathy is extended to the parents and relatives in their sorrow. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor have received the following letter from the Chaplain:-
"Dear Mrs Taylor- It is with the very deepest regret that I write to inform you that your boy was killed in action in the recent very heavy fighting of 8-12/4/18. I am afraid we have no details whatever of his death. May God give you every comfort in your awful blow, and may He grant your boy's soul eternal rest. I remember both you and him in my prayers 'Greater love hath no man, than that he lay down his life for his friends. Yours very truly, AW. Mountford, C.E. Chaplain att. 12th Suffolk Regiment."
In consequence of enquiries made by the Rector ( the Rev.A.F.Webing) the following letter has been received:-
"Dear Sir, Thank you for your letter. I am grieved to say that the boy is killed. I have written to his mother..Yours very truly, AW. Mountford, C.E. Chaplain att. 12th Suffolk Regiment."

photo: Rodney Gibson

Frank Taylor is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, panel 3

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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