CAPTAIN ERNEST ALBERT ISAAC TAYLOR
ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
23RD JULY 1918 AGE 35
BURIED: SARIGOL MILITARY CEMETERY, KRISTON, GREECE
Ernest Albert Isaac Taylor gave up his job at the Union of London and Smith's Bank, Nottingham on the outbreak of war and was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery in December 1914, serving with the BEF in France and Flanders from May 1915, first in the Second Battle of Ypres and second at the Battle of Loos. The following month, October 1915, his battery was posted to Salonika.
The British army went to Salonika to prop up Serbia but by the time in got there Serbia had been defeated. Nevertheless the army remained in the region, establishing the Macedonian Front that stretched 480 km from Albania to Eastern Thrace. The front was designed to prevent Bulgaria's advances into the region, part of the country's plan to gain overland access to the Mediterranean.
In July 1918, Taylor was wounded by a bursting shell. One report says that he died two weeks later, another that he died the same day. His colonel told his father:
"Captain Taylor's death has cast a gloom over the whole brigade, as he had endeared himself to both officers and men by his devotion to duty and his kindly nature. He was one of my most capable officers, and a most loyal and loveable comrade."
Taylor was born in Japan where his father, the Revd Isaac Taylor, was a missionary with the British and Foreign Bible Society. It was his father who chose his inscription, which despite appearances has nothing to do with the First World War but is a quote from the New Testament:
"And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately, we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them"
Acts 16: 9-10
However, from his choice of inscription, the Revd Isaac Taylor implies that the British Army was doing God's work in Macedonia.