The Taylor tree

My mother’s father was Herbert George Taylor, born near Stratford upon Avon, very tall (6ft 6in) and with a big moustache (at least when I knew him). His father, Walter Fredrick Taylor, moved to Gloucester to become a postman and in his early days as a postie he used to cover many miles on foot - he blew a whistle and people would come out to collect letters or give them to him to post. Later he had a pony and trap. In 1916 he was helping a friend out on his farm and caught his arm in the thresher machine and lost it - it was replaced with a hook. In 1918 he was offered to be the sub-postmaster at Hartpury if he bought a property - which he did for 130 pounds. It has been in the family ever since.

Herbert George began his career as a telegraph boy at the age of 13. He ran away twice and joined the army at 14. In 1907 he was in the Grenadier Guards 2nd Battalion and stationed at Aldershot, Hampshire, Pirbright, Surrey and also at Wellington Barracks, Westminster just near Buckingham Palace.

Ancestors of Herbert George Taylor (1888-1961)

Descendants of Thomas Taylor

He joined the Metropolitan police force in London after the war and was later posted

to the Borough Police Force, West Riding, Yorkshire and was promoted to Sergeant.

He was noted for the extraordinary care he took in gathering evidence and he once

hid in tool chest for 24 hours from which he kept observation on a betting house.

There was a subsequent prosecution and conviction (described in the local paper).

He was also badly beaten up during a miners' strike.

He was secretary of the Rotherham and District Rifle Association and Municipal Rifle Club of which he was one of the founders. He also had several marksman shooting medals from Bisley.

The family left Yorkshire in the mid-1930s and Herbert served as butler to Captain and Mrs Charles at Buscot in Bradfield in 1938. His wife Jean was housekeeper. The census taken right at the start of the 2nd World War in 1939 reveals that in the Charley household at Buscottage, Bradfied, Berkshire there was Herbert G. Taylor, born 22 March 1887, married, occupation butler; Edith L. Charley, born 8 Jan 1868, married; Margaret I. Vaughan, born 27 Aug 1862, widowed; Joan Taylor, born 2 Oct 1885, married, housekeeper; and a currently closed entry which is presumably Herbert and Jean's youngest daughter Aileen, 17.    

During the war a stick of bombs straddled the house and it was bombed out. He then was Warden of the Alms Houses in Donnington, near Newbury, Berks. At the time of his daughter Aileen's marriage in 1943, he was Barrack Warden at Theale (near Newbury) barracks and then became Quartermaster at Aldermaston.

He later became Head Gardener at the nursery in Selborne, Hants - where Gilbert White, the famous naturalist was active. In the 1950s, he was Estate Manager at Padworth House, owned by Lady, Countess of Bandon.

It has been difficult to trace much of Herbert’s ancestors of his mother’s side. The English records are not so user-friendly or helpful as the Scottish ones! However, I have tracked down many on his father’s side - the earliest being Thomas Taylor.

In 1914 Sergeant Taylor was transferred to the Grenadier Guards depot at Caterham

as a sergeant instructor being in possession of all the necessary certificates. In 1917

he went to France as Acting Company Sergeant Major in the Grenadier Guards (14th

Company) where he was mentioned in dispatches for conspicuous gallantry between

St Python and Vertain. His wife received a certificate about it in a letter dated 13 Nov 1918. He was to be put forward for the Military Cross but his officer commanding

was killed before he could complete the paperwork. He was awarded the Victory and

British medals. He was in the Grenadier Guard for over seven years.

He met his wife-to-be Jane Lindsay in Hyde Park while on sentry duty. The penciled postcards sent from the barracks in Aldershot to Miss Lindsay, c/o Mrs Raeburn in London during 1910 and 1911 indicate how he missed his “Dearie” during all the preparations and training in the run up to the 1st World War.