TAYLOR, Albert

No.202128, Private, Albert TAYLOR
Aged 21

4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
formerly 5318, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action presumed on Monday, 23rd April 1917

Albert Taylor was born Weston Colville (Linton Q2-1896 3B:508), son of James Thomas and Ellen TAYLOR (née HOWE).

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at The Green, Weston Colville with his father James TAYLOR, [36] horse man on farm; his mother Ellen [33] born Balsham; brothers Reginald [10], Herbert [9], Bertie [8] Trevor W [3] and Montague [11 months] All except his mother were born in Weston Colville.

1911 census...Aged 15, yard boy, he was still at The Green, Weston Colville with his parents; brothers Trevor (errand boy) and Montague; sisters Clara [7], Kate [5] and Alice [4], all the girls born in Weston Colville. All 9 siblings survive.

His brother Reginald died in 1914 in France, a regular soldier the Bedfordshire Regiment see here

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds.
Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment" gives us the picture:-
Zero hour on 23rd April was fixed for 04:45, the British attacking on a 9 mile front.The 4th Suffolk with two companies in the front line and two in support were to attack southwards down its trenches as far as the Sensee valley, and then link up with the brigade making a frontal attack on that part of the Hindenburg line. Some were detailed to mop up in the tunnel, an almost impossible task, driving the Germans back on the surface as well as underground.
All was well at first, pushing forward to the edge of the valley they brought in 650 prisoners, a granatenwerfer and 5 machine gun. 'A' company was within 200 yards of the Sensee valley, 'D' company almost level with them. The enemy counter attacked vigorously and the two companies, unsupported on their flanks were forced to fall back. The tunnel now proved to be the weakness as it concealed a large force which surfaced when the counter attack began. Cut off, part of 'D' company withdrew across country. The maze of communications and support trenches, impossible to guard or even watch, gave the Germans excellent cover. Despite reinforcement from 2 companies of the 5th Scottish Rifles 'C' and 'D' companies had to withdraw to their original starting position by 3 pm. Twice during the day even Battalion HQ was forced to man the parapet.
Another barricade was hastily constructed to the rear and a fresh attack was even being launched at 6pm, but was cancelled. The enemy retaliated vigorously, but it quietened down by 10 pm.

This small operation had cost the battalion 74 dead, only 14 having identified graves. Conrad Cornell from Little Thurlow being another of the casualties

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Albert Taylor is commemorated on the Arras Memorial bay 4

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

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