- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Joseph James (Jock) Taylor
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 20 February 2004
My grandfather was SQMS Joseph James (Jock) Taylor. No. 7007152 Born 1900. His last regiment was Royal Army Ordnance Corps and I think perhaps he was also attached to REME.
Though a Londoner he was known as Jock and had as an underaged boy joined the Irish Rifles in WW1. He saw service at Gallipoli (another evacuation) and I think on the Western front. He remained in the army moving to other regiments and was part of the troops occupying the Rhineland. In 1939 had been living in married quarters at the Didcot army base with his wife Annie and sons Derek (my 77 year old father) and Gerald. He was actually a member of the Depot’s fire brigade and no longer eligible for reserve call up. However, despite being 39 he agreed to go with the BEF as soon as war broke out, but I don’t know with which unit.
He arrived on the beach and although he couldn’t swim waded out to boats 3 times up to his neck in water before rescue. He refused to tell his family many stories, because he said there would be time after the war. One story he did say was of seeing a French soldier driven insane by the bombers madly firing a bren gun at the stukas.
Grandad returned to England, went on commando training at Inverary . Took part in raids on Norway, being felled by a German’s rifle but,was stationed in Madagaskar, won a Burma Star and was injured while training in East Africa in 1945. He came home to hospital, never fully recovered and died in 1946, having a War Grave in Didcot Parish Church yard. My father became a Baptist clergyman and still is a British Legion chaplain and Uncle Gerald served in the Malayain insurgency.
The Dunkirk TV series of 2004 was fascinating, I watched the contemporary footage wondering if any men shown were my Grandad. I think the series really captured the emotion and the actuality well. I especially watch the older soldiers and the non swimmers. I wonder how Jock felt having witnessed Gallipoli and then Dunkirk. I wonder if anyone posting knows anything more about him
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.