yeovil at War

John Thomas Taylor

Died in hospital after a career at sea

 

John Thomas Taylor's name is inscribed on the Preston Plucknett War Memorial. However, his connection with Preston Plucknett and/or Yeovil is completely unclear - in fact I can find no evidence of his connection at all.

John Thomas Taylor, known as Tom, was born on 6 January 1884 at Gillingham, Dorset, one of the five children of John Tom Taylor (1856-1916) and Hannah née Cross (1857-1929). In the 1891 census the family were living in Gillingham but by 1901 they had moved to Abertillery, Monmouthshire, Wales.

On 10 July 1905 Tom enlisted in the Royal Navy and was based at HMS Vivid II. He was a stoker and his Service Number was 308593 (Dev) - that is Devenport. HMS Vivid II was the name of the Royal Naval barracks at Devonport.

Tom served aboard a number of different ships including Duke of Edinburgh (19 February 1906 to 9 March 1908), Leviathan (30 March 1908 to 15 May 1911), Indus (17 June 1911 to 6 October 1911), Royal Arthur (2 November 1911 to 22 December 1911), Kent (23 December 1911 to 19 August 1913), Leander (12 January 1914 to 13 November 1914), St George (14 November 1914 to 3 September 1915). The intervening periods were spent at Vivid II. By September 1915 Tom was a Leading Stoker. From 4 September 1915 onwards he was based at Vivid II.

However, it appears that Tom became ill and from 5 November 1915 he was confined to the Royal Naval Hospital at Great Yarmouth, suffering from "general paralysis" and classed as a "dangerous lunatic".

He died in the hospital on 26 March 1916 and was interred in Great Yarmouth (Caister) Cemetery, Grave B.137. Tom was aged 30. His name is inscribed in the County of Somerset Book of Remembrance in St Martin's Chapel, Wells Cathedral and is also inscribed on the Preston Plucknett War Memorial.

 

gallery

 

HMS Vivid II - the Royal Naval barracks at Devonport, Plymouth.

 

HMS Duke of Edinburgh. Tom was a stoker from 19 February 1906 to 9 March 1908.

 

HMS Leviathan. Tom was an acting leading stoker from 30 March 1908 to 15 May 1911.

 

HMS Indus. Tom was an acting leading stoker from 17 June 1911 to 6 October 1911.

 

HMS Royal Arthur. Tom was a leading stoker from 2 November 1911 to 22 December 1911.

 

HMS Kent. Tom was a leading stoker from 23 December 1911 to 19 August 1913.

 

HMS Leander. Tom was a leading stoker from 12 January 1914 to 13 November 1914.

 

HMS St George. Tom was a leading stoker from 14 November 1914 to 3 September 1915. 

 

The Royal Naval Hospital, Great Yarmouth.

 

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission certificate in memory of John Taylor.

 

Great Yarmouth (Caister) Cemetery

For many years Great Yarmouth was a naval base, containing a Royal Naval Hospital and there are three naval plots in the burial ground which contains war graves of both World Wars, as well as other Naval graves dating from 1906 onwards. Some of the 1914-1918 graves are in groups to the west of the entrance, while others are scattered. After the 1914-1918 War, a Cross of Sacrifice was erected near the mortuary chapel. During the early months of the 1939-1945 War, ground in plot M in the eastern part of the cemetery, north-east of the mortuary chapel, was set aside for service war graves, and this is now the War Graves Plot. It was used for Army, Air Force, Merchant Navy and Allied casualties, and the Naval plot A was used for Royal Naval casualties and for some of the Merchant Navy men; but there are a number of scattered war graves in the cemetery. There are now 168 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-1918 war and 115 of the 1939-1945 war commemorated in this site. Of these, 13 from the 1939-1945 War are unidentified. There are also 3 Foreign National war burials here.