Shaftesbury Grammar School War Memorial

James Arkell Tayler

Surname: Tayler
Other names: James Arkell
Other people in this story:
Walter Harry Tayler
Elizabeth Tayler née Arkell
Walter Ramshaw
Locations in this story:
Northleach, Gloucestershire
Shaftesbury Grammar School, Shaftesbury, Dorset
France & Flanders
Oak Leigh, Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium

James “Jim” Arkell Tayler was born in 1896 in Northleach, Gloucestershire. He was the son of Walter Harry Taylor, a farmer, and Elizabeth Arkell. He attended Shaftesbury Grammar School from September 1909 to April 1912. In the 1911 Census he appears on the list of pupils boarding at Oak Leigh, Cann, the home Walter Ramshaw, a science master at the school. On leaving school he became a farmer.

In 1914 he joined the Gloucester Regiment (Service Nos. 240937 and 3047) as a Private. He served in France & Flanders and was awarded the Victory and British War medals. He was killed in action on 12th September 1917. His death was reported in the Shaftesbury Grammar School magazine: “Details of Jim Tayler’s death (recorded in our last number) have now been received. A shell pitched at the mouth of his dug-out; he lingered for half an hour and then died, probably more from shock than wounds. His mother received a delightful letter from his platoon sergeant, who said that his absolute unselfishness and cheerfulness under all circumstances made him the most popular man in the section.” His name appears on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

As a former pupil his name was recorded on the Shaftesbury Grammar School war memorial, now in Shaftesbury School.  A "First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces" was produced by Shaftesbury Grammar School in September 1915. It shows the regiment in which Jim served and the date and term in which he left school. Throughout the war a hand-written list was also compiled of Shaftesbury Grammar School old boys serving in the armed forces. An asterix can be seen next to Jim's name, indicating that he had died. The board is now at Gold Hill Museum.

Printed Sources: 

Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, October 1914
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, November 1917
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, March 1918
First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces, September 1915

  • List of Old Shastonians 1
  • List of Old Shastonians 4
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 7
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 1

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives