Today we commemorate the 101st Anniversary of the death of one of our local men.

Lance Corporal John Thomas Taylor, 8th battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, was born in Rippingale in 1896.
Son of Rippingale farm worker John Edward Taylor and his wife Sarah Ann Barber also of Rippingale.

By 1911 John Thomas Taylor was living with the Levesley family in Scottlethorpe Road, Edenham and was working as a waggoner on a farm.

When the war broke out John was one of the many villagers to join up and he was posted to the 8th Battalion Lincolnshire regiment.

The Battalion trained at Grimsby during August 1914, and then at Halton Park in November. The Battalion moved into billets at Leighton Buzzard for the winter of 1914

In the spring of 1915 the Battalion moved to Halton Park Camp, Wendover and miniature rifle practice commenced. After completing the musketry course and a Review by Lord Kitchener, the Battalion moved to Witley Camp North, marching past His Majesty the King and Lord Kitchener, 12 August 1915.

All the Battalion commanders had been in retirement at the outbreak of war. Of the 21st Division in which the 8th Lincolnshire were attached only 14 officers had any previous experience in the Regular army.

The Battalion entrained for overseas service at Milford Station on 9 September 1915 leaving England the next day, sailing via Folkestone to Boulogne. For a week the Battalion stayed in the Watten area before receiving orders to move to the front.

A long and really arduous march took place which led the Battalion to the front and their first engagement of the war, The Battle of Loos.
During this battle an immediate gain was overturned and the highly inexperienced Battalion suffered tremendous losses.

In their first battle the 8th Battalion lost 22 of their 24 officers. 471 other ranks were killed, wounded or missing that being nearly half of all men in the Battalion.

The next major offensive for the Battalion was during the battle of the Somme in July 1916. The Battalion saw action in Albert, Bazentin Ridge, Fleurs-Courcelette, Morval, Gaudecourt, Transloy Ridge and eventually in November the Battle of The Ancre.

During the spring of 1917 the German Army retreated to the heavily fortified defensive Hindenburg Line.
When the retreat started the 21st Division were at Halloy spending a period out of the line in training exercises.

On the first of April the Battalion attended a voluntary Church Parade at Neuville Au Cornet before the following day being route marched to Denier for an attack on a trench system. Over the next days the Battalion moved to Avesnes-le-Conte, Givenchy-le-Noble, Lattre St Quentin before arriving at Duisans to withdraw equipment ready for their move onto the assembly area at Arras.

The Battalion entered the Battle of Arras at Battery Valley on the 9th April 1917 at 4pm digging in until 8pm.
The Battalion moved east and halted around midnight. At daybreak considerable enemy activity was observed round Monchy-le-Preux, also enemy troops and transport moving north east from Roeux. Artillery was asked for in both cases but there was no response.

At 9am the Battalion prepared to advance to its original objective as soon as the 111th brigade advanced on Monchy.

At 10:30 am Major Greatwood was informed that the 8th Somerset Light Infantry were in Monchy and that he must support them. They advanced to teh valley but in this advance they suffered heavy casualties as they had no artillery support.

At 4pm Major Greatwood issued orders to attack Monchy with the 8th Somerset on the right, Lincolns on the left. Again with no artillery support they had to dig in on high ground receiving orders to attack at dusk.
When they had already opened out for the attack, orders arrived from Brigade cancelling the attack and consolidate the position and patrols were posted in front.

By the end of the 10th April the Battalion had 9 officers wounded, 30 other ranks killed, 187 other ranks wounded and 8 missing.
John Taylor was a casualty of this action.

Grantham Journal Saturday 2 March 1918
Lance-Corpl J T TAYLOR, Scottlethorpe
The parents of Lance-Corpl John Thomas Taylor of the Lincolnshire Regiment, who live in the hamlet of Scottlethorpe, belonging to the village of Edenham, a few days ago received the official notice that he has been missing since April 1917 and is now believed to be dead, as nothing further has been heard of him since then. He was their only child. On the outbreak of the war in 1914, he with others from this village joined the Lincolnshire Regiment as privates at once. They all went to the front in September 1915 and fought at Loos. Since then Taylor had been made Lance-Corporal and joined the Machine Gun Section. All in the parish sympathise with the parents.

In memory of Lance Corporal John Thomas Taylor, 11889, 8th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment who died on 9 April 1917 Age 21
Son of John Taylor of Scottlethorpe, Bourne, Lincs
Remembered with honour, Arras Memorial.

Lest we forget