Charles Stuart Taylor
Charles Stuart Taylor was born in Molong in 1883 to John Stuart and Margaret Hunter Taylor. Charles’ father was a long-time alderman of Molong Council, serving as Mayor for three terms. The family was active in the Presbyterian Church where John was an Elder.
Charles and his siblings attended Molong Public School. By 1909 Charles had moved to Mosman where he worked at Noakes’ butchery.
During 1914 Charles and his brother Ernest served in the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (ANMEF) in New Guinea. Ernest returned to Molong in early 1915, describing his time in New Guinea as “a real good holiday”, despite the extreme heat and humidity. Charles retuned to Australia in March 1915 suffering from malaria, having served for 206 days.
Following his recovery Charles enlisted in the AIF, embarking for overseas service in April 1915. A Private in the 2nd Battalion, 4th Reinforcement, he proceeded to Gallipoli, where, in August, he sustained a gunshot wound to the shoulder. Private Taylor described the events surrounding his injury in a letter to the family written from the Luna Park Hospital in Egypt. Charles spent two months recovering at the Australian and New Zealand Convalescent Home at Helouan, Egypt, rejoining his Battalion in October.
In February 1916 Private Taylor was assigned to the 54th Australian Infantry Battalion in Tel-el-Kebir. Four months later he joined the British Expeditionary Force in France.
In March 1916 the Molong Express and Western District Advertiser published a letter from Private Taylor in which he described the Australian retreat from the Gallipoli Peninsula and mentioned that now he is a driver he is paid an extra seven shillings a week.
In August 1916 Charles was promoted to Sergeant. Less than three months later – on 30 October 1916 – Sergeant Taylor was he was hit by an exploding shell in the trenches at Flers. He was transported to 8th Australian Field Ambulance where he later died of his wounds. Charles is buried at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery at Longueval in France.
On 11 March 1917 the Church of England in Molong paid tribute to Charles in the evening service, and on 25 March the Reverend J Smith of the Presbyterian Church held a memorial service in his honour.
Read more about Charles and Ernest’s time in the ANMEF in New Guinea