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Frederick Augustus Taylor was born in Cudal in 1889. His parents William Taylor and Mary Jane Anderson were married in Orange in 1879; their first son, Henry Arthur (Harry) was born in 1881, and their second, Sydney Thomas, in 1883. A daughter, Jessie May followed in 1896. William was a popular and well-respected publican in Cudal; the long-time proprietor of the Tattersall’s Hotel.

In 1913 Frederick purchased Mehruda, a 4,000 acre property between Molong and Wellington and where he went on to graze sheep and cattle and to raise crops.

When Fred was 25 he travelled to Goulburn and enlisted in WWI. He was assigned to the Medium Trench Mortar Battery Reinforcement 2 as a gunner. He embarked HMAT A60 Aeneas in Sydney on 30 September 1916, arriving in Plymouth on 19 November 1916. Fred underwent further training at the Australian Army Training Depot in Parkhouse and later at Larkhill on the Salisbury Plain.

In April 1917 Gunner Taylor proceeded to France, where he was taken on strength as a driver with the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade. In mid-October the brigade saw action in the Westouvre area of Belgium. The brigade’s unit diary for 19 October 1917 states:

Owing to bad state of roads and heavy shelling the Batteries experienced considerable difficulty in moving into position.

Three days later, on 21 October 1917, Frederick was killed in action. There is no entry for that day in the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade’s diary, however the very first entry on the list of casualties for the week ending 28 October is:

Driver FA Taylor, killed in action, 21 October 1917

When he enlisted Frederick nominated his mother Mary as his next of kin, and in January 1918 she received a small parcel containing his personal effects: his identity disc, two wallets, a French book, letters, photographs, his unit colours and two blank drafts. In accordance with army protocol Frederick’s war medals were forwarded to his father.

Frederick Augustus Taylor is commemorated on the Cudal District Honour Roll, the Cudal and District War Memorial Gates, the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll, the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph and on panel number 13 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

[Frederick’s brother Harry was a partner in the successful auctioneering firm of Bedford, Taylor and Weston Ltd. A noted philanthropist, he awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth during her 1954 tour of Australia.]

Cudal and District War Memorial Gates. Image courtesy Anthony Stavely-Alexander.