Correspondence relating to Charles Herbert Taylor, 1916-1918

Accession Number AWM2016.30.47
Collection number PR03112
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type File
Item count 13
Object type Letter, Papers
Physical description 41 Image/s captured
Maker Taylor, Charles Herbert
Place made Australia, France
Date made 1916-1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use

Correspondence relating to the First World War service of 908 Private Charles Herbert Taylor, 34th Battalion. This file predominantly contains correspondence from Taylor to his family back in Australia. Two items of ephemera, a deposit slip and a receipt, were donated with the correspondence and have also been included. Prominently referred to are his father Charles Taylor and his brother Walter Taylor, described as “Wallie”.
In these letters, Taylor records the voyage to England, remarking on places such as Port Said and Gibraltar, and subsequently entering camp on the Salisbury Plains in England. After being sent to the Western Front in November 1916, he writes life in the trenches, including the shell fire and how to survive a strafe in the trenches. Taylor describes the ruins of France and repeatedly tells his brother “Wallie” not to enlist. He records his disappointment at the failure of conscription and writes that he didn’t want any money for going over as it was his duty. Taylor consistently enquires as to Maitland, and to how his father’s building company is going. As a member of the 34th Battalion band, he also records their activities, recording in one instance that the band continues to play, but only sixteen out of the original twenty-five original members were left. Taylor was wounded in action, with a shrapnel wound to the left thigh, on 4 April 1918 while the 34th Battalion helped to defeat a major German drive towards Villers-Bretonneux. He describes the fighting, writing that he was in charge of a Lewis gun with five other bandsmen, and his subsequent treatment and recovery at the 2nd General Hospital. In one final letter, Taylor writes of how tired he is of the war.

This file contains:
Deposit slip for Government Savings Bank of New South Wales, 28 April 1916;
Lettercard from Charles Herbert Taylor to his father, Sydney, 2 May [1916];
Newspaper article titled "Soldier's Letters: Private Taylor", [Cessnock] Daily Mercury, 12 August 1916;
Letter from Charles Herbert Taylor to his parents, "Somewhere in France", 30 July 1917;
Letter from Charles Herbert Taylor to his father, [France], 17 March [1917] [incomplete];
Letter from Charles Herbert Taylor to his parents, "Somewhere in France", 23 March 1918;
Letter from Charles Herbert Taylor to his brother, France, 21 March 1918;
Letter from Charles Herbert Taylor to his parents, 2nd General Hospital, France, 17 April 1918;
Active service envelope addressed to [Charles] Taylor, postmarked 18 April 1918;
Letter from Charles Herbert Taylor to his father, "Somewhere in France", 8 September 1918;
Fragmented letter [4 parts], n.d.;
Partial envelope addressed to Charles Taylor, n.d.;
Receipt for a mechanical drawing class for Walter Taylor, n.d.