Born at Denbigh, Denbighshire [now Clwyd], probably in 1822.
[RM: JT was baptized at Wrexham on 15th September 1822, the son of John Taylor, a stonemason of Bersham, and his wife Elizabeth. The ceremony was conducted by the curate, D. Hughes.]
Enlisted at London on the 8th of November 1843.
Age: 21 years 4 months.
Height: 5' 8".
Appearance: Fresh complexion. Blue eyes. Brown hair.
Piershill Barracks, Leith South, Midlothian.
John E Taylor, 29, Private Soldier, born Denbigh, Wales.
Tried by a District Court-martial for "leaving his post" at Ballincollig on the 11th of June 1856. Sentenced to 56 days' imprisonment, with hard labour.
1861 Census (Scotland)
Hamilton Cavalry Barracks [South Lanarkshire].
Taylor appears on the 1861 Scotland census at Hamilton Cavalry Barracks as a Corporal. [RM]
[PB: There is some information on Hamilton barracks here: wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilton_Barracks.]
From Private to Corporal: 8th of May 1861.
Tried by a Regimental Court-martial on the 17th of March 1862, reduced to Private and imprisoned to the 6th of April 1862.
Discharged from Canterbury on the 28th of July 1868 at "Own request, after 24 years service."
Served 24 years 19 days. In Turkey and the Crimea: 2 years. Canada, 1 year 7 months.
In possession of three Good Conduct badges.
35 times entered in the Regimental Defaulter's book. Seven times tried by Court-martial.
He was also tried and imprisoned, 23rd of May — 19th of June 1848, 14th of March — 4th of May 1849, 1st of July — 13th of August 1849, 1st of May — 13th of June 1851, and the 3rd of June — 26th of July 1859.
Awarded a pension of 11d. per day.
To live c/o "The Warwick Arms", Warwick Road, Kensington, London, and was still in the West London Pension District in 1875.
Entitled (according to the medal rolls) to the Crimean medal with clasps for Balaclava, Inkerman and Sebastopol and the Turkish medal.
Documents confirm the award of the Crimean medal with clasps for Balaklava, Inkerman and Sebastopol, and the Turkish medal.
For some unknown reason, he is not shown as being awarded the first clasp on the combined Alma/Inkerman roll (which has a "B" added for those awarded the clasp) but he is shown on the separate Balaclava roll.
Lummis and Wynn only credit him with the clasps for Inkerman and Sebastopol. He was one of some 35 men left behind at Varna and is shown for the September 1854 muster as being "At Varna."
Just when he rejoined the regiment is not obvious, all being still on the pay-lists of the regiment although not actually with it.
At the Lord Mayor's Show on the 9th of November 1890, a "Pte Taylor" is shown in the 16th carriage in the procession. This could be 1200 John Taylor, as he is known to have been in London at the time. (Though 1141 Henry Taylor, of the same regiment, is another possibility.)
[RM: The 1871 Census shows a man of this name living at 77, Earl's Court Road, Kensington (St Mary Abbot parish). He was aged 48, born Montgomeryshire, Wales, and an "unemployed Grocer". His wife Eliza, aged 42, a milliner and children Eliza, Louisa, and Alfred are also shown as well as two servants. However, this man also appears in the 1861 Census, so cannot be JE Taylor, who was still serving in the Army at this time.]
[PB: In 1878, at St Luke's, Paddington, JT, an "Army pensioner" aged 56, married Elizabeth Stevens, a widow, 47, the daughter of Francis Howell. The bride made her mark. Their address was given as 15, Burlington Mews. The fact that they were living in a Mews suggests he may still have been working with horses (though of course many other trades were carried on there). The couple were only married for two years when JT died.]
[PB, October 2016: A few years previously the Medical Officer for Paddington had found that Burlington Mews was "in a clean state". But other mews nearby were less wholesome. Typical comments included "Dirty, cabs kept...the scavenging is badly done...a dirty little place...Bad, dirty, some closets without water...Dirty people infected with Small Pox — cabmen and others have dirty premises."] [Source: Wellcome Library, Paddington 1871 (Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Paddington).]
John Edwin Taylor, 58, July Quarter 1880, Hendon, Middlesex. [PB]
[RM, October 2016: JT died on 11th September 1880 at St John's, Kilburn. He was buried at Willesden Old Cemetery, Brent, on 16th September 1880, in a common grave with five others: Grave no.258 section C. Registers show he was aged 58, and 9/6d was paid for his burial. See also newspaper cuttings (below), one of which mentions how his burial was paid for. We have as yet no further information about what became of his wife. Notice his death (in poverty) was reported around the country.]
ONE OF THE SIX HUNDRED — The Rev. William Hind, curate of St John's, Kilburn, writes from 18, Oxford-road, Kilburn, N.W., Sept. 15th:
"There did in our parish last Saturday John Edwin Taylor, for 24 years of the 13th regiment, and one of the 600 heroes of the Charge of the Light Brigade. A year's illness has exhausted the family savings, and his widow has no immediate means of support.
"An appeal to the congregation produced enough to pay the funeral expenses and to leave a small balance over, but I venture to think that this is a case of more than local interest.
"Should any friends be inclined to honour the brave by helping Mrs. Taylor in her present distress, contributions will be thankfully acknowledged."
[Source: Manchester Courier, 17th of September 1880.]