Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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   Sergeant William Taylor
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 28/12/2018
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: Depot, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Died: 20/01/1915 (Died of Illness)
Age: 45
Summary      
William Taylor was one of 3 brothers who served in the army during the Boer War in South Africa. After his term of service had expired he returned to Cookstown to work. He was married with 7 children. At the outbreak of the First World War he joined his old regiment as a recruiting officer. During this time he contracted pneumonia and died on 20th January 1915.
Further Information
William Taylor was born in County Tyrone about 1870.
William Taylor and Mary Ann McCormick were married on 4th December 1897 in the district of Magherafelt.
William Taylor was one of three brothers who served in the army during the Boer War in South Africa.
After his term of service had expired he returned to Cookstown to work.
The 1901 census lists William as living with his wife and family at house 43 in Rainey Street, Magherafelt, Londonderry. His in-laws were also living with them. William was a farm labourer.
Family: William Taylor, Mary Ann Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor (born 2nd March 1899), William Robert Taylor (born 20th January 1900), Jemima Taylor (born 4th December 1901), Unnamed male (born 3rd March 1903), Jeanette Letitia Taylor (born 19th April 1906), Dorothy Taylor (born 11th April 1909), Nora Taylor (born 18th February 1912), Violet Taylor? (born 15th January 1915).
The 1911 census records William and his wife Mary Ann living at Millburn Street. At that time they had five children. William was 41 years old and working as a ‘dealer’.
Millburn Street, Cookstown
William was a regular attendant at St Lurans’ Church of Ireland, Church Street, Cookstown.
Sergeant Taylor’s services were called upon in 1912 on the formation of the Ulster Volunteers where he acted as an instructor with the Cookstown company.
At the outbreak of the First World War he joined his old regiment as a recruiting officer.
Sergeant William Taylor was serving with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he contracted pneumonia in Cookstown and died on 20th January 1915. He was 45 years old.
Sergeant Taylor’s received a full U.V.F. funeral, with the service overseen by Reverend F.M. Moeran A.M. and Reverend J. Bloomer A.B. Funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. Robert Steenson.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 21st January 1915: Soldier’s Death in Cookstown
Great regret was expressed in Cookstown yesterday, when the death was announced of Sergeant William Taylor, of the Inniskillings, who had been acting as local recruitment officer since shortly after the declaration of war. Sergeant Taylor served in the old militia and his two brothers were through the South African war, while one is now fighting in France. The deceased took a great interest in the Ulster Volunteer Force, and held the position of sergeant-instructor in the Cookstown Company. A few days ago, pneumonia set in as the result of a severe cold, and despite careful nursing and medical attendance, he succumbed at his residence in Oldtown, Cookstown. He leaves a widow and seven children.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 23rd January 1915: Sergeant William Taylor, Cookstown
Great regret was expressed in Cookstown on Wednesday, when the death was announced of Sergeant William Taylor, of the Inniskillings, who had been acting as local recruitment officer since shortly after the declaration of war. Sergeant Taylor served in the old Militia and he and two brothers were through the South African war, and one of the brothers is now fighting in France. Sergeant Taylor took a great interest in the Ulster Volunteer Force, and held the position of sergeant-instructor in the Cookstown Company. A few days ago, pneumonia set in as the result of a severe cold, and he succumbed on Wednesday morning at his residence in Millburn Street. The late soldier leaves a widow and seven children, the baby having been born on Saturday last. The funeral took place on Friday afternoon to the New Cemetery. The coffin was covered with a Union Jack, on which was placed the deceased’s side arms. The hearse was preceded by a firing party of the U.V.F., who saluted as the coffin was removed from the house. The firing party carried rifles reversed and wore mourning armlets. Following the hearse was a contingent of the U.V.F. wearing side arms and armlets. The funeral services were conducted by Re F M Moeran, A.M., and Rev J Bloomer, A.B., and the firing party, which was in charge of Instructor Hugh Montgomery, discharged three volleys at the graveside as a parting salute. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr Robert Steenson, undertaker, Cookstown.
From the Tyrone Courier 28th January 1915:
Newspaper Report
Cookstown UVF Instructor’s Death: Great regret was expressed in Cookstown on Wednesday, when the death was announced of Sergeant William Taylor, of the Inniskillings, who had been acting as local recruitment officer since shortly after the declaration of war. Sergeant Taylor served in the old militia and his brothers were through the South African war, and one of his brothers is now fighting in France. He took a great interest in the Ulster Volunteer Force, and held the position of sergeant-instructor in the Cookstown company. A few days ago, pneumonia set in as the result of a severe cold and he succumbed on Wednesday morning at his residence in Oldtown, Cookstown. The late soldier, who was a member of the Church of Ireland, leaves a widow and seven children. The funeral took place on Friday. The funeral procession was preceded by a firing party of the Ulster Volunteer Force Company, in charge of Instructor Hugh Montgomery, and the hearse was followed by a large contingent of the Volunteers, wearing armlets and side arms in honour of the deceased, who had been sergeant-instructor in the of the company. The service was conducted by Rev. F.M. Moeran, rector of the parish, and Rev. J Bloomer, curate assistant. The firing party at the graveside discharged three volleys as a parting salute.
He received a full regimental funeral, with the service overseen by Reverend F.M. Moeran A.M. and Reverend J. Bloomer A.B. Funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. Robert Steenson.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 22nd January 1916:
Newspaper Report
Taylor – In loving memory of Sergeant W Taylor, who died on 20th January 1915.
'We do not forget thee, we loved you too dearly,
For memory to fade from our hearts like a dream;
The lips need not speak when the heart mourns sincerely,
And thoughts often rest where they seldom are seen.
A loving father, true and kind,
Missed by those he left behind,
Forget him – no one ever will,
As time rolls on we love him still.
Ever remembered by his sorrowing wife and family, Millburn Street, Cookstown
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 19th January 1918:
TAYLOR - In loving memory of Sergeant W Taylor, who died 20th January 1915.
‘For many years our family chain was gently linked together;
But oh that chain is broken now, a link has gone forever.
Oh dear husband, thou hast left us, though we still thy loss deplore,
Fleeting time will reunite us, thou art only gone before.
The moon and stars are shining on sad and lonely grave,
Beneath lies my dear husband, the one we could not save.
A woman’s part is a broken heart, and the burden of lonely years.’
Inserted by his sorrowing wife and family, Waterloo Terrace, Cookstown.
William Taylor was buried in Cookstown New Cemetery in an unmarked grave.
He lies between Private Joseph Burns (left of picture) and Private Robert Blair (right of picture).
Thanks to Mid Ulster Council who supplied us with this photo of his grave.
Sergeant William Taylor was a brother of Private Joseph Taylor (2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) who was later killed in action on 5th May 1915.
Sergeant William Taylor is NOT listed on the CWGC and does not have a commonwealth war grave.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Millburn Street, Cookstown Cookstown North Census listing in Millburn Street, Cookstown 54.650311 -6.745646
2 Cookstown Cemetery Cookstown South Buried in Cookstown Cemetery 54.638919 -6.753327
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Taylor family 1901 census lists William as living with his wife and family at house house 43 in Rainey Street, Magherafelt, Londonderry
2 1911 Census lists Taylor family 1911 census lists William as living with his wife and family at house 32 in Millburn Street, Cookstown, Tyrone
3 Private Joseph Taylor Brother of Sergeant William Taylor
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2021