Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Taylor Road
- Media Type:
- Street Name: Taylor Road
Name of Veteran: William George Edward Taylor Oct. 13, 1918-Oct. 1, 1986
Ship Served: HMS Ajax
Date of Service on Ship: 1938 to 1941
Year of Visit/Dedication: n/a
Veteran or Family Visit: n/a
Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: Yes
Died at Battle: No
William George Edward Taylor (known in the Royal Navy as Buck) was born on October 13, 1918 to George and Beatrice Taylor in the district of Dunfermline in the County of Fife. After having worked for a short time as an errand boy he joined the Royal Navy in November 1933, at the age of fifteen.
After his training at HMS Ganges, William (Bill to his family and friends) served HMS Renown and HMS Revolution, before joining HMS Ajax on January 11, 1938. In January 1939 Bill was part of the crew that assisted the Chilean earthquake victims in Concepcion and he later served as a signalman onboard HMS Ajax during the famous Battle of the River Plate in December 1939 off the coast of Uruguay. The crew received a hero’s welcome upon their return to London where the Battle was hailed as the first significant naval success of World War Two. He continued to serve the Ajax for a further two years while she was part of the Mediterranean fleet, moving briefly to HMS Warspite in May 1941 before transferring to various shore establishments in Egypt.
For the remainder of World War Two Bill trained at several shore bases and signaling schools, including the newly formed HMS Eland in Freetown, Sierra Leone. It was here that he trained to be Yeoman of Signals and was advanced to that rank officially in 1943.
Bill married Nancy Mannering on June 22, 1940 in Bredhurst, Kent, and they had five children. He was de-mobbed from the Royal Navy in 1948 and awarded several war medals for his service in the Atlantic and Africa.
In 1956 Bill was invited to the premier of the film Battle of the River Plate which chronicled the events of that which made HMS Ajax and her crew famous. He never had anything but praise for his commander Admiral Henry Harwood.
Bill died on October 1, 1986, just before his sixty-eighth birthday.
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- Location of Original:
- Original document and image located in the Ajax Archives.
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