Wedding presentation tray : Brigadier H B Taylor MC and Bar, 19 Battalion AIF

Accession Number AWM2017.1154.1
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Silver-plated metal
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made c 1940
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Period 1940-1949

Reproduction Old Sheffield silver plated presentation tray engraved with 'To BRIG. & MRS H.B.TAYLOR. With Best Wishes from THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS of the 19th Bn. FIRST. A.I.F.'. Twenty four signatures have been engraved into the tray. The identified signatures belong to the following servicemen: Lieutenant Colonel William Kenneth Seaforth Mackenzie DSO VD, Lieutenant Frederick Neville Lipscomb MC, Lieutenant William Peter Colvin Andrew, 6917 Private William Ambrose Parker, 1168 Private Stanley Seymour Craske, Lieutenant Austin Diamond, 709 Private Richard Frederick Hidden, 2167 Corporal Alfred William Minott, Lieutenant Edward Eugene Monro, 707 Lieutenant John James Blumer, Major Robert Cairns Amos Anderson, 328 Company Quartermaster Sergeant Leonard Smith, Lieutenant William Edward Langham, 4376 Private Ernest Vincent Carroll, Captain William Leo Trenerry MC, Lieutenant Arthur Ernest Dent, 1382 Private Bertie Joseph McKevitt Emmerson, 6340 Private John Walker Johnson, Lieutenant John Francis Warren Weedon, Captain Leonard Barclay Heath, Major John Malbon Maughan DSO, 1990 Sergeant James Howard Reynolds and 252 Lieutenant Lionel Robert Herborn Irvine. The tray rests on 4 short feet, one of which has broken off but is still present.

History / Summary

This tray was a gift to Brigadier Harold Burfield Taylor, MC and Bar and Nellie Birkenhead Starling on the occasion of their marriage at St Matthews Church of England, Manly on 23 October 1940. It contains the signatures of 24 men from the 19th Battalion AIF. Taylor served with 19 Battalion between January 1916 and May 1918. The tray goes some way in showing the high level of esteem and regard that Taylor was held in despite the passing of time.

Harold Burfield Taylor enlisted in September 1915 and embarked aboard HMAT Euripides on 2 November 1915 with 19 Battalion 6th Reinforcements. Arriving in Egypt, he was formally taken on strength by 19 Battalion on 8 January 1916. He arrived in France on 26 March. He was awarded a Military Cross on 8 March 1918 for his actions on 15 April 1917 to help stem a German attack at Lagnicourt and he was awarded a Bar on 25 July 1918 for helping to capture Daisy Wood, east of Ypres on 9 October 1917. Taylor returned to Australia on 8 January 1919 and was discharged on 30 April.

Taylor resumed militia service in 1920 and commanded a number of battalions from 1926 until the outbreak of the Second World War. In October 1939 he was promoted temporary brigadier before being given command of the 22nd Brigade, 8th Division.

Taylor married Nellie Birkenhead Starling at St Matthews Church of England, Manly on 23 October 1940. The wedding was brought forward due to Taylor’s military commitments.

Taylor embarked for Singapore on 4 February 1941 arriving on 7 February. Following the fall of Singapore he became a prisoner of war at Changi before being moved to Formosa (Taiwan) and then Manchuria. Recovered at the end of the war, Taylor was repatriated to Australia and discharged on 9 January 1946.