Taylor, William Watson

Sergeant William Watson Taylor

B/64259 Sergeant William Watson Taylor of the Queens Own Rifles of Canada was born in Toronto on 15 March 1921. He was the youngest son of George and Mary Jane Taylor both of whom were born in England and immigrated to Canada in 1910. Sadly, his mother died of a cerebral hemorrhage when he was only 12. William had one older brother, George, who was born in Canada in 1912.

His father re-married in September 1941 to Elizabeth Annie Fisher with which William gained a step-brother, Albert and step-sister, Lillian. At the time of his enlistment the family home was in Westmoreland Avenue, Toronto.

He was educated at the Regal Road Public School of Commerce and was well known as an athlete. His sports included rugby, softball and basketball. His hobbies included swimming, fishing, skating and stamp collecting. Having finished his education he became a truck driver for Loblaws Warehouse Groceteria in Toronto.

Sergeant TAYLOR attested into the Queens Own Rifles on 22 June 1940.  His service record shows that he had previously served for two years in the militia as a Gunner in the 25th Battery Royal Canadian Artillery 1938 – 1940.

Having arrived in England in 1941 with the Canadian Forces he took part in training for the build up to D-Day, landing on the beaches on 6th June 1944. Having survived the beaches he continued to serve with the Queens Own Rifles and was promoted to Corporal at the end of June and subsequently Acting Sergeant in November. During November 1944 he was injured and returned to England where he was attached to 2nd Canadian Infantry Training Regiment.

It would appear that Sergeant Watson was on leave in London when he tragically died at the age of 23. Witnesses described him staggering down Temple Steps towards the River Thames on the evening of 21 July 1945 and falling in. It would seem that despite a fence and netting which had been put in place to cover a gap, he fell through into the water.  Attempts to rescue him failed and he sadly drowned.

Sergeant William Watson is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, England, plot 61. C. 7.

Gravestone of Sergeant William Watson Taylor, Brookwood Military Cemetery, England.

"In Pace Paratus – In Peace Prepared"