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James William Taylor was born in Ballarat, Victoria, was single and a Student with the Dookie Agricultural College, Victoria when he enlisted with the 23rd Battalion, B Company on 18 February 1915 at the age of 21. His unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 10 May 1915. He transferred to the 6th Brigade Machine Gun Section on 1 March 16 and proceeded to join the British Expeditionary Force. On 9 September he was to be appointed the rank of Sergeant.
On 11 November 1916, exactly two years prior to the armistice being signed and thereby effectively ending the war, Sgt James William Taylor was killed in action in the field. He is buried at the A.I.F. Burial Ground (Plot X, Row L, Grave No. 3), Grass Lane, France.
Tree No. 878