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TAYLOR, Frederick William Murray

Frederick was born on the 4th April 1884 in Bandalong, Victoria. He joined the Northern Territory Police Force on the 5th July 1911. He served in Katherine from the 14th November 1912 until the 17th February 1913. It is not known when he left the Northern Territory Police. However when he enlisted on the 29th May 1916 as No. 6568 of the Twenty First Reinforcements of the Sixth Battalion of the Second Infantry Brigade. He gave as his occupation ‘Mounted Constable Northern Territory Police Force’. He was single when he enlisted. Frederick embarked for active service from Melbourne on HMAT Nestor A71 and disembarked at Plymouth, England on 16th November 1916. He joined the Sixth [Victorian] Battalion in the field in France on the 22nd March 1917. Frederick was wounded in action the first time on the 11th May 1917 during the Battle of Bullecourt, when he received a gunshot wound to the mouth. After recovering in hospital, he rejoined his Battalion on the 9th June 1917. He was wounded a second time whilst in action in the Battle of Menin Road, during the Third Battle of Ypres on the 20th September 1917. One report states that he had sustained a gunshot wound to the left forearm. His wound was also cited several times in the records as being to his hand. Another medical entry says he had a severe gunshot wound to his left shoulder. Shrapnel [metal fragments] from artillery could cause wounds in several places. From experience reading soldiers records, gunshot wound is a term often used, when in fact the wound could have been shrapnel wound. In any event, his injury involved being wounded in a manner sufficiently serious for him to be evacuated from France to the English County of Middlesex War Hospital. He was admitted to that English Hospital on the 2nd of September 1917. He was later listed as being on furlough and repatriation at Weymouth England. During the action on the Menin Road, the Sixth Battalion of which Taylor was a member, advanced through the debris of what was at that time known as the Glencourse Wood. Whilst doing so in heavy action with the enemy, they captured some concrete strong points known as pillboxes. During this action, Lieutenant Birks one of Taylor’s platoon commanders carried out the action, which resulted in Birks, being awarded the Victoria Cross. Second Lieutenant (2nd Lt) Frederick Birks VC MM, 6th Battalion. 2nd Lt Birks was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for "most conspicuous bravery in attack when, accompanied by only a corporal, he rushed a strong-point which was holding up the advance" on 20 September 1917 at Glencorse Wood, Belgium. After the corporal was wounded, 2nd Lt Birks killed the remaining enemy soldiers occupying the position and captured the machine gun. He later organised a small party and attacked another strong point occupied by approximately twenty five of the enemy, killing most and capturing one officer and fifteen men. A shell at his post killed 2nd Lt Birks on 20 September 1917 while he was attempting to rescue some of his men who had been buried by a shell explosion. In July 1916, Birks was award the Military Medal[10] for "consistent good services" in the operations at Pozieres. Wounded Frederick Taylor was one of the 258 casualties sustained by the Sixth Battalion in this action. Frederick rejoined his Battalion in France on the 2nd of January 1918. On the 15th of April 1918 during action to counter the large German offensive[11], Frederick was wounded for the third time when he was shot in the shoulder. He was hospitalised once again and after recovery, he returned to the Sixth Battalion on 7th May 1918. On the 10th August 1918 in action near the French city of Amiens, Frederick was wounded for the fourth and last time. He received what the Medical Board described as a penetrating gunshot wound to the chest and the left arm with his injuries classified so severe that his next of kin were advised. He was admitted to the Thirteenth United States of America General Hospital at Boulogne France. Following treatment, he was moved on to the King George Hospital in England for specialist treatment. He was discharged from that hospital on the 21st of September 1918. He embarked to return home to Australia on HMAT Nestor on the 12th of December 1918, arriving in Melbourne on the 1st February 1919. He was discharged from the Army as medically unfit on the 11th March 1919. His disability being listed as gunshot wound to the chest [perforating lung] and a gunshot wound to the left arm [Injury to the Ulna Nerve]. His disabilities would have terminated any thoughts on his part to resume his policing career.

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