Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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2445   Private Joseph Taylor
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 01/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Died: 05/05/1915 (Killed in Action)
Age: 48
Summary      
Joseph Taylor was born in Dungannon about 1867. Joseph and brother William Taylor both served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers during the Boer War in South Africa. Both men retired from the army to work in Cookstown. Joseph Taylor and Mary Hayes were married on 2nd September 1911 in the district of Cookstown. They lived at Coolreaghs, near Cookstown. They had one daughter. Joseph was called back to his old regiment at the outbreak of the First World War. Private Joseph Taylor was as killed in action on the morning of Wednesday 5th May 1915.
Further Information
Joseph Taylor was born in Dungannon about 1867.
Known family: parents unknown, Joseph Taylor, William Taylor
Joseph and William Taylor both served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers during the Boer War in South Africa.
Both men retired from the army to work in Cookstown.
The 1911 census lists Mary Hayes as age 20, a charwoman living with the Whann family in Coolreaghs. William Whann, one of the family, aged 19, also died in the war.
Joseph Taylor and Mary Hayes were married on 2nd September 1911 in the district of Cookstown.
They lived at Coolreaghs, near Cookstown. They had one child. Jane Taylor was born on 8th September 1914 in Cookstown.
Family: Joseph Taylor, Mary Taylor, Jane Taylor (born 8th September 1914).
Joseph was called back to his old regiment at the outbreak of the First World War.
Medal card
1915
Joseph’s brother, Sergeant William Taylor, was recruiting with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he contracted pneumonia in Cookstown and died on 20th January 1915.
On 25th January 1915 the 2nd Inniskillings were posted to 5th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Division, but came into no serious action for some time.
At the opening of the Battle of Festubert the battalion was called upon to show their mettle in attack. Up until 15th May 1915 they had encountered little resistance. It was reported that there had been 6 men killed and 40 wounded.
Private Joseph Taylor was as killed in action at around 6 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday 5th May 1915. Private Taylor was buried at 4pm that day.
Hugh Taylor received a letter of condolence from Quarter-Master Sergeant M Mahaffy.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th May 1915:
TAYLOR – 5th May, killed in action in France, Joseph Taylor, 2445, Private, C Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, late of Coolreaghs, Cookstown, aged 48 years.
'My darling sleeps, but not forever,
There will be a glorious dawn,
Where we meet to part, no, never,
On the resurrection morn.
It’s hard to part with one so dear,
And say, ‘Thy will be done’.
But He who chose him for His own,
Will keep him till we come.’.
Inserted by his sorrowing wife (Mary Taylor, Coolreaghs) and little daughter Jane.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th May 1915: Private Joseph Taylor
A letter has been received from the sergeant major of C Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, stating that on 5th May, Private Joseph Taylor, No 2445, was instantaneously killed, and that his body had been interred in the little cemetery behind the trenches the same afternoon. Private Taylor was about 48 years of age, and leaves a widow and one child, about two years of age. He was an old militia man, and had seen service in the South African war, for which he received two medals, and was well known in the district, being engaged in the dealing business all over the country. He was called up when the war broke out and went to the front about 1st November last. He resideas at Coolreaghs, Cookstown, and was a brother of Sergeant William Taylor, who had been recruiting officer for some time, and who died in January last.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th May 1915:
The following is a copy of the letter received:-
‘France, 6th May 1915. To Mr Hugh Taylor. Dear sir, I received a letter yesterday addressed to No 2445, Private J Taylor and I am very sorry to have to inform you that he was killed about 6am yesterday morning. It will I hope be some consolation to you to know that he suffered no pain as his death was instantaneous. He was buried yesterday afternoon, about 4pm, the burial service being conducted by the chaplain in a little cemetery behind the trenches. A wooden cross bearing his rank, name, regiment and the date, has been placed at the head of the grave. You will probably receive an official communication from the War Office. Should you require any further particulars which I can furnish, I shall only be too pleased to help. Would you kindly let any other of his relatives who are alive know the facts, and, as I understand he was married, would you kindly let her know as I have not got her address, and you may be able to break the news more gently to her than I could in a letter. Someone sends him out a small packet of tobacco every week, and if you know who the sender is, you can tell them he received a packet on the afternoon before his death. With deepest sympathy I remain, yours sincerely, M Mahaffy, Quarter Major Sergeant, C Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.’
1916
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 6th May 1916:
Newspaper Report
TAYLOR – In ever affectionate remembrance of my dear departed husband Joseph, who departed this life on May 5th, 1915, in France, killed in action.
'No more we will clasp thy vanished hand,
Nor hear the voice now stilled,
Till we reach the land where you’ll proudly stand,
Mid earth’s heroes in action killed.'
Inserted by his sorrowing wife and little daughter, M and J Taylor, Killybaskey, Cookstown.
Private Joseph Taylor is buried in Cuinchy Communal Cemetery in France.
Private Joseph Taylor is commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph and St. Luran’s Church of Ireland Roll of Honour, Derryloran, Cookstown.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Coolreaghs Cookstown North Father lived in Coolreaghs 54.662989 -6.760987
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1911 Census lists Mary Hayes 1911 census lists Mary Hayes as age 20 living with the Wanns in Coolreaghs
2 FindAGrave.com Gravestone photo of Joseph Taylor
3 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
4 Private William John Whann Died 27 September 1915
5 Sergeant William Taylor Brother of Private Joseph Taylor
6 War Graves Photographic Project Gravestone photo of Joseph Taylor can be purchased here.
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2020