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Allan Fergus Taylor #Anzacday

April 24, 2020


ALLAN FERGUS TAYLOR was born on 20 September 1892, at Bundalong, Victoria. He was the eleventh child of  James Lloyd Taylor and Emily Louisa Pearce.

Australian Defence Force

Allan Taylor enlisted in the Australian Defence Force on 10 September 1914 at age 22. Service No. 571. He served at Gallipoli, Egypt and France and rose to the rank of Captain. He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery under fire.

Outdoors group portrait of officers of the 12th Australian Machine Gun Company behind four of their Vickers Mk 1 machine guns.
Identified, left to right, back row: Second Lieutenant (2nd Lt) Bernard O’Reilly; 2nd Lt Claude Napier King (later lieutenant, killed in action 8 August 1918); 2nd Lt Edward Maurice Cullimore (later lieutenant MC); 2nd Lt William Gregson (later lieutenant).
Front row: Lt Peter Grieveson; Captain (Capt) Harry Wolseley Crouch MC; Capt David Stacey Amherst Martin MC; Lt Alan Fergus Taylor MC; Lt Errol Phineas Congrieve Upton.

Honours and Awards:

Service No: 571Unit: 4th Australian Machine Gun Company
Rank: Lieutenant

Unit: 12th Australian Machine Gun Company
Rank: Lieutenant

Unit 4th Australian Machine Gun Company
Rank: Captain

45th Australian Infantry Batallion
Rank: Captain


The following item was published in the London Gazette, Third Supplement, No. 31043 on 29 November 1918 and the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 61, 23 May 1919

“For conspicuous gallantry and good leadership during an advance. He was in charge of sixteen machine guns, and on reaching the final objective he at once made a reconnaissance and got his guns into position under heavy fire. He sent back valuable information and inspired his men by his energy and contempt of danger” – London Gazette, Third Supplement, No 31043 29 Nov 1918 and Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 61, dated 23 May 1919

from: The Gundagai Times and Tumut Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser, (N.S.W: 1868 – 1931)
Tuesday 24 October 1916

Allan Fox 1916

A well known Lockhart soldier, in the person of Lieut. Allan Taylor, brother of Mrs. J. fox, has been specially mentioned in despatches for gallantry and devotion to duty whilst in charge of a machine gun section at the front. Kieut. Taylor successfully occupied a position in the front line of trenches, with little cover, and together with Anzacs under his command was subjected to heavy shell fire, during a bombardment by the enemy. He is in receipt of a congratulatory message from his commanding office, Major-General Sir H.V. Cox, K.C.M.G., C.B., C.S.T., of the 4th Aust Division.

Letters to Home

This letter was written on a piece of cardboard taken from a packet of biscuits due to the scarcity of writing materials. (Thanks to Peter Toohey)

Gallipoli June 27th 1915
Dear Winnie
Just a line (I am a Lance Corporal now) to let you know that I am as right as rain so far. I got your and Jack’s letters a couple of days ago. This (letter) will have to do for the two of you. You can no doubt see that there is a scarcity of writing material. I would be very thankful if you would send me an envelope and piece of paper when you write. I got a letter from mother the other day. Also a {  }from Lockhart and by the {  } of them, they are having a good time there. {  } is back again now. He got a slight {  } the first day and was away for six weeks. I {  } met {  } McCurdy, one of the Smiths from Wilby. Yes I can promise you I will spend some time with you when I get back. You had the wrong number on my letter but happy to get it alright. If I had some paper I could write a decent letter to you both. Br. Allan 571

*Note: {  } indicates that the word was unreadable

Letter written by Lieut. Alan Taylor, to his sister (Mrs. J. Fox)
France, 21 September 1916

We are back again, and I am afraid none of us were sorry to leave the Somme. I had enough to do me for a while in the seven weeks we were down there, but now we are back in a quiet old place, so quiet, in fact, that you almost think old Fritz is netural. I think the lads done fairly well down below, but the intensity of the German bombardment played havoc with them. They can’t stand it like the English Tommie. What puzzles me is how the Germans can stand ours. We must fire ten shells to their one. I was very lucky to get out of it. Was buried once by high explosive, but with the exception of going ‘cranky’ for 48 hours was none the worse for the experience, and didn’t have to leave the trenches. Pleased to hear that you have such promising prospects for another bumper harvest. I wouldn’t mind if I was back there giving sonic old ‘cocky’ a hand to get it in. We have rather a good time here when we are not actually in the firing line. I am at present in reserve, and you would be surprised if you could see my quarters. Quite a nice room with a stove, bed, kerosene lamp etc, and reminds me of the German dug-outs on the Somme, only not so elaborate. I am going for a ride to a fair sized town tomorrow afternoon to get some things. I will be going to old england at Christmas time to have a well earned rest, after sticking to my guns since the famous landing at Gallipoli.

4th Batallion landing at Galipolli. Photographer: Lance Cpl Arthur Robert Henry Joyner

WW1 Defence Service Record 571
Australian War Memorial
Researcher and family member: Peter Toohey


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From → Family stories

  1. Interesting story. Where did you find that letter?

    • Jennifer Jones permalink

      The letter had been kept for many years by a relative Aleksandra

  2. He’s very handsome in his military photo.

    • Jennifer Jones permalink

      Yes he is very handsome. Thanks for popping in

  3. Wow, really interesting. Love the letter transcriptions and the photos. Lt. Taylor was a handsome young man. Well done!

    • Jennifer Jones permalink

      I agree. He was very handsome indeed.

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