James Melvin Taylor


James Melvin Taylor

New Zealand Motor Transport Division

Died 14th February 1919 age 30

Private J. M. Taylor – N.Z. Ex. Force

James Melvin Taylor was born on 19 July 1888.  In 1911 he was employed as a chauffeur, living in Aberdeen with his sister Jessie and her Police Constable husband James Lobban. By 1913 he was resident chauffeur at Parkhill House, Dyce. That year, at Aberdeen, he married Elizabeth (Bessie) Adams Main who, like Jessie, was a dressmaker. Daughters Agnes Cumming and Helen Isobel were born to James and Bessie in 1913 and 1914. Having presumably acquired some skill with the new-fangled motor car, James was recruited to the Army Service Corps and was, at least latterly, attached to the New Zealand Motor Transport Division. It must have come as a relief to the family when he survived the Armistice in 1918. Sadly, however, while awaiting demobilisation, he died of influenza and pneumonia, at No. 44 Casualty Clearing Station in Cologne on 14 February 1919 aged 30 – probably a victim of the “Spanish” flu which in the end claimed several times as many lives as the war itself. He is buried at Cologne Southern Cemetery. Bessie remarried (a blacksmith Robert Reid) in 1922.

Mary Taylor died in January 1932, and Francis the following year on 10 November at Norton Cottage, aged 75. On 15 November 1933 the Aberdeen Journal printed a short piece about Francis, describing him as one of Kincardine O’Neil’s “oldest and most esteemed residents”. It noted that he had been an enthusiastic bowler and took a keen interest in the social club and that, each year, he made a wreath and laid it at the War Memorial.

Herbert’s twin sister Maidie became a nurse, and in 1932 married a policeman named Alexander Gorrie. She outlived her twin by 75 years, and indeed outlived all her siblings, surviving to the age of 95 when she died, at Allachburn, Aboyne, in 1992.