Leatherhead War Memorials - WW1

Private Percy Edward Taylor
4th Reserve Bn., Royal Sussex Regiment

Town Memorial NOT LISTED

Taken Not Given, Liam Sumption, L&DLHS

As PE Taylor was not listed on the Town Memorial, he was not included in Liam Sumption's research.

Name: TAYLOR Initials: P E
Rank: Private
Regiment: Royal Sussex Regiment
Unit Text: 4th Reserve Bn.
Age: 19
Date of Death: 09/10/1917
Service No: 201859
Son of Frederick and Louisa Taylor, of 304, Kingston Rd., Leatherhead.
Grave/Memorial Reference: In North part [local grave no. 1756].

A Percy Taylor is listed on the Church Lads Brigade tryptich at All Saints' Church

He is also listed in the Chapel of Remembrance in the Parish Church.

However he is not listed on the British Legion WWI Roll of Honour in the Parish Church.

As can be seen, he does have a War Graves Commission headstone in the Leatherhead Parish Church graveyard.

His Record of Service confirms he enlisted in Guildford, Surrey on 28 December 1916. His age was 18y 7m, he was a Labourer and had a Medical Classificiation A. His preference was to join the Royal Fusiliers.

He was discharged as no longer fit for service on 8th May 1917 due to 'tuberc[u]le of lung'. He died five months later.

In the Army Register of Soldiers Effects entry for him there was a note 'Inadmissable.Insufficient Service' for a War Gratuity.

Leatherhead Parish Magazine
November 1918
The following have given their lives for the Cause :—
Oct. 9. Pte. Percy Edward Taylor, Royal Sussex Regt., died of illness contracted on service with the colours.

We desire to express our deepest sympathy with the relatives of the above gallant soldiers. All of Mr. F. Taylor’s six sons have served in this war; three have given their lives, and two more have been severely wounded.

Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser
Saturday 13 October 1917

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, sen., of Woodbridge, Leatherhead, who had six sons serving in the Army, have sustained another bereavement by the death or their son, P. E. Taylor, the sad event occurring on Tuesday evening. Deceased when only 17 years old joined the Royal Sussex Regiment in December, 1916, and while training contracted lung trouble. He was discharged from the Army in July last and succumbed to his illness on Tuesday evening.

Their son, Pte W Taylor, of the Oxford and Bucks Light infantry, was killed in January this year, and two others, Pte FB Taylor and Pte. A. J. Taylor, of the Royal Fusiliers, have been reported missing.

Pte. A. Taylor, of the  "Queen’s," who was wounded in the Dardanelles in 1915, is just recovering from wounds received in France in March last, and Pte. H. [sic] Taylor, also of the "Queen’s," is now in hospital in Warrington, suffering from wounds received in France in September last.

Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser
Saturday 20 October 1917

A large number of people attended a military funeral on Monday of Mr P E Taylor youngest of the six sons of Mr and Mrs F Taylor of Woodbridge, Leatherhead, who is has served with the colours. Deceased, who was only 19 years of age, joined the Royal Sussex Regiment in the December,1916, and after training some time was discharged through illness in July last.

The funeral cortege was met in Kingston Road by detachment of Volunteers under the command of Sergeant May, who preceded it to the Parish Church where the service was conducted by Vicar (Rev. T.F. Hobson).  Three volleys were fired over the deceased’s grave and the ”Last Post” was sounded by a bugler from the Red Cross Hospital. Mr and Mrs Taylor desire to thank the inhabitants of town for the great sympathy they have extended to them in the loss of their son.
Private Percy Edward Taylor was born on 27 May 1898, Pixholme, Dorking, Surrey. He served with the Royal Sussex Regiment, as part of the 4th Reserve Battalion. Percy served as part of the Home Service 'second line' at Tunbridge Wells in September 1916. His death certificate shows he died of tuberculosis of the lung and exhaustion at home in Kingston Road, Leatherhead on the 9th October 1917, while being tended by his mother Louisa. His Death Certificate says the informant of his death was his sister-in-law Leah [of 3 Woodbridge Cottages, Kingston Road, Leatherhead, wife of his brother Arthur Henry] was present at 1 Woodbridge Cottages, Leatherhead when Percy died.

He was buried at St Mary and St Nicholas Churchyard, Leatherhead.

Despite his army home service and being given a standard Imperial War Graves Commission gravestone Percy's name was not engraved on the Leatherhead War Memorial, as were those of his three brothers who died in WW1. Many believe his name should now be added.

The photo, provided by Mrs Marion Haines, a member of the Taylor family, shows Louisa's grave in Leatherhead Parish Churchyard. Behind the cross and beyond Louisa's grave can be seen the top of the familiar War Graves Commission headstone at Percy Taylor's grave. The lady is believed to be Mrs Cordelia Randall, Percy's aunt and Louisa's sister. The photo which appears to be attached to the cross may be of Louisa.The inscription on the (wooden) cross reads In Loving Memory of The Dear Son/LOUISA TAYLOR . PERCY EDWARD/Also of her beloved husband/FREDERICK BENJAMIN TAYLOR.

Louisa died in 1945

January 2021
As already stated, unlike his brothers who died in the service of their country, Percy Taylor is not listed on the Town Memorial despite having a War Graves Commission headstone in the Parish churchyard. Any further information on Percy would be welcome as would be a photo of him.

His life

For his genealogy see The Taylor Family

Percy Taylor is remembered on these memorials
Ladies War Shrine, Leatherhead Parish Church
Church Lads Brigade Memorial Tryptich, All Saints Leatherhead
Surrey in the Great War

With many thanks to Lorraine Spindler. Her book LEATHERHEAD IN THE GREAT WAR looks at some of the WW1 names on the Leatherhead War Memorial and delves into the social background 


Royal Sussex Regiment Heritage Project

Royal Sussex living history group

Royal Sussex Regiment in 1914-18

Royal Sussex Regiment - Wikipedia

the website editor would like to add further information on this casualty
e.g. a photo of him, and of any recollections within his family

headstone images: Haslam    other: Haines
last updated 24 Mar 2010: 11 Jan 21