Herbert Snowdon Taylor was born at Rhodes, Lancashire in 1897, the son of Leah and Wilfred Taylor, a labourer at a calico print works.
In 1901, three-year-old Herbert was living at 598 Manchester Old Road, Middleton, Lancashire with his widowed grandmother, Grace Rawnsley, parents, and brother Willie (9). Herbert's father later died, and by 1911 Herbert was living at 1 Pool Street, Macclesfield with his recently-married mother Leah and stepfather Arthur Rose, a blacksmith. Herbert was employed as a silk embroiderer.
Herbert joined the 7th Cheshire Regiment in Macclesfield on 12 January 1915 and was given service number 3263. On 30 August 1916 he was drafted overseas, sailing from Southampton, and then transferred to the 1st Cheshire Regiment with the service number 49346.
Herbert's death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 26 October 1917:
A BRAVE SOLDIER - SHRAPNEL IN THE LUNGS
The death in action is reported of Pte Herbert Taylor, Ches Regt, son of Mrs Rose, 1 Pool St, Macclesfield. The intimation was conveyed in the following letter from Lance-Sergt J Lewis, Gloucester Regt:- "I... have the painful duty of writing... to inform you of the death of your son, 49346 Pte Taylor... On the 9th inst he was near my trench making enquiries for his regiment when unfortunately a German shell burst near him, a piece of which passed through his right side into his lungs. The stretcher-bearers of my company attended to him immediately, but were unable to save his life. He died soon afterwards very peacefully as a brave soldier. Two of my men buried him that night as soon as it was dark..."
Pte Taylor was born at Rhodes, near Middleton, Manchester, twenty years ago and came to live at Macclesfield with his parents seven years back. As a civilian he was employed as an embroiderer at Councillor A W Hewetson's, Albion Mill, and was connected with Brunswick Wesleyan Chapel and Sunday School. The late Pte Taylor enlisted before the outbreak of war at the age of seventeen. He was drafted out to France fourteen months ago and was expecting to come home on leave. Lance-Corporal William Taylor, his brother, is serving in the Manchester Regt and has been at the front two years. He is twenty-six years of age and was wounded in the back by a piece of shell on May 3rd. The lance-corporal was treated at the base hospital and afterward returned to the firing line.
Private Herbert Taylor has no known grave and is commemorated on panel ref. 61 to 63 on the Tyne Cot Memorial, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Herbert Taylor, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Locally, Herbert Taylor is commemorated on the Macclesfield Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael's Church and the Brunswick Wesleyan Methodist Church war memorials.
Brother of William Taylor, who lived in Middleton, near Manchester, and served as a Lance-Corporal with the Manchester Regiment.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920 (Find My Past)
WWI Absent Voters Lists: Macclesfield Parliamentary Division
Macclesfield Times: 26 October 1917, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)
Research by Rosie Rowley, Macclesfield.