The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- George William
- Corporal (Promoted on 24.1.1942)
- Regimental #:
- ‘A’ Company Headquarters
- Place of Birth:
- Darley Dale, Derbyshire, England
- Father's Name:
- William Taylor
- Mothers's Name:
- Fanny Taylor
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Truck Driver
- Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 43.
- Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
- ‘E’ Force Borneo
- 4/4597 & 1560
- Cause of Death:
- Place of Death:
- Sandakan No. 1 Camp
- Date of Death:
George enlisted AIF 23 Oct 1940. He later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘A’ Coy Headquarters as a driver/mechanic – in fact he was Transport Corporal under command of Maj Saggers (who later transferred to E Coy Special Reserve Battalion).
The original A Company Headquarters was small, with only 16 personnel. Another 14 reinforcements joined them Jan 1942.
Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of WX8867 Corporal George William Taylor, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion, Australian Infantry. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of E Force. The 500 Australian and 500 British POW’s who made up E Force, left Changi on 28 March 1943, on board the S.S. DeKlerk arriving at Berhala Island (adjacent to Sandakan Harbour) on 15 April 1943. The POW’s were held there until 5 June, when they were taken by barge to Sandakan. The next day they were transferred to the 8 Mile Camp, which was about half a mile from the B Force compound. Corporal Taylor, aged 43, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 2 March 1945. He was the husband of Lucy May Taylor, of Subiaco, WA. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 18. (Photograph copied from AWM232, items 4 and 5. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)
Height 5′ 7 1/4″
TAYLOR, Corporal, GEORGE WILLIAM, WX8867, A.I.F. 2/4 M.G. Bn., Australian Infantry. 2 March 1945. Age 43. Husband of Lucy May Taylor, of Subiaco, Western Australia. Panel 18.
Labuan Memorial, Malaysia.
We believe George arrived Fremantle from London in January 1928 on ‘Berrima’ aged 26 years, his occupation recorded as farm labourer.
The first we can find of George is in 1931 Electoral Roll. He is living Wubin working as farm hand.
In 1932 he married Lucy May Digwood from Collie. Lucy is one of 5 children born to parents Henry and Elizabeth Digwood who migrated from Wales. Elizabeth Digwood died in 1928.
With no immediate family in Australia, the Digwood family would have become his family.
Below: Lucy’s older brother served in WW1. The family receive news 1916 he had been seriously injured.
Lucy’s mother, Elizabeth dies unexpectedly following an operation at Collie hospital.
Below: Lucy’s brother Charles – this WW1 Veteran’s life appears precarious.
In Jan 1931, Charles Digwood despairs and attempts suicide with his own shotgun – he was firstly admitted to hospital before succumbing to his injuries.
In 1935 Henry Digwood died.
In 1936 Electoral Roll, George is storekeeper, living with Lucy Dunedin St, Fremantle.
1937 Lucy and George are residing Gloster Street, Subiaco. George is truck driver.
In 1943 Electoral Roll, the last before George departed with 2/4th for Singapore, he and Lucy were living 202 Heytesbury Street, Subiaco, George truck driver.
Lucy and George had one son, Laurence born in 1935.
Lucy remarried in 1956 to Herbert Leonard Johnson. She died 1975 aged 74 years.
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Sandakan - Borneo ***
- Lintang Officers Camp, Kuching - Sarawak