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  • (WmA27357) Family gravestone  North Muskham (St Wilfrid) churchyard.  Photograph Rachel Farrand (March 2013)
Person Details
29 Dec 1887
Ferdinand was the son of George William Taylor and his wife Emily nee Hallam. George William Taylor was born in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, in 1856 (J/A/S Southwell), and Emily Hallam in Norwell, Nottinghamshire. They were married in 1880 (A/M/J Southwell) and had at least two children who were both born in Southwell: Ferdinand Branton Hallam b. 29 December 1887 (1887 O/N/D Southwell) and Mona Isabel b. 1890 (A/M/J Southwell). A third child, Beatrice, was recorded on the 1901 Census when George was living in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, with his wife Louie. Beatrice, who was 9 years old at the time of the census, was born in Southwell, and her birth probably registered in 1902 (J/F/M Southwell). In 1881, the year after their marriage, George (24) and Emily (19) were living on Westgate, Southwell. George was working as a plumber. By 1891 the couple had moved to King Street, Southwell; they had two children, Ferdinand (3) and Mona (1). Also in the household was Lucy Brewster (18) a general domestic servant. By 1901, though, George William Taylor (44), now employed as a sewing machine traveller, was living in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, with his wife Louie (30 b. Sheffield) and the three children, Ferdinand (13) a hairdresser's apprentice, Mona (10) and Beatrice (9). No record has yet been found of George's second marriage nor of the death of his first wife Emily, although there is a record of a divorce petition filed on 10 May 1895 by a George William Taylor v. an Emily Taylor (and co-respondents), but it appears the petition was dismissed in March 1896. George, Louie and the youngest child, Beatrice, have not yet been traced after 1901. Ferdinand joined the Royal Navy in 1905 and was discharged in June 1910 (see military history). He married Beatrice Annie Phillips in 1910 (O/N/D Sheffield). Beatrice was born in 1890 in Drybrook, Gloucestershire (A/M/J Westbury on Severn) and baptised on 8 June 1890 at Mitheldean, Gloucestershire. In 1911, the year after their marriage, Ferdinand and Beatrice were living with her parents, Arthur and Sarah Phillips, at Laughton Common, near Rotherham, Yorkshire. Ferdinand was working as a fireman. Ferdinand and Beatrice had two sons, George Wilfred b. 1911 (J/A/S Rotherham) and Joseph A. b. 1913 (J/F/M Rotherham).. The CWGC reccord gives Beatrice Annie's address as 27 Granville Street, Laughton Common, Rotherham. This may have been her parent's address as she was still living in the family home when Frederick was killed in 1914. Ferdinand's sister, Mona, was a domestic servant living in Upton, near Southwell, in the household of a widowed teacher and her two children at the time of the 1911 Census. An Army Service Record has been found for a George Henry Keates who appeared to have served with the York & Lancaster Regiment for just 77 days from 3 July 1921. The record shows that Keates had married a Mona Isabel Taylor on 6 July 1915 at Laughton Parish Church, Rotherham. Their home address was 19 Rotherham Road, Dinnington, near Rotherham. Mona Keates died in 1929 (O/N/D Rotherham) aged 39.
Ferdinand was a hairdresser's apprentice in 1901 but a pony driver at a colliery when he joined the Royal Navy in 1905. In 1911, the year after his discharge from the RN, he was a fireman.
01 Nov 1914
2872162 - CWGC Website
Stoker 1st Class
HMS Good Hope Royal Navy
(RFR/PO/B/3628) Served as 'John Taylor'. Ferdinand joined the Royal Navy on 19 June 1905 on a 12 year engagement (5 years RN, 7 years Royal Fleet Reserve). He gave his date of birth as 29 December 1896, thus claiming to be 18 years old rather than 17 years so avoiding serving 'boy time'. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: HMS Nelson, 19 June 1905-10 November 1905 (Stoker 2nd Class), Victory II, 11 November 1905-27 November 1905; HMS Duncan, 28 November 1905-17 August 1908 (Stoker 4 February 1906, Stoker 1st Class 1 July 1906); Victory II, 18 August 1908-14 October 1908; HMS Grafton, 15 October 1908-17 June 1910; Victory II, 18 June 1910. He was discharged shore SS expired and transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve the following day, 9 June. Ferdinand was mobilised on 13 July 1913 and joined HMS Good Hope as a Stoker 1st Class. His service record was annotated, 'NP 2788/14. DD [Discharged Dead] 1 Nov 1914. Lost when HMS Good Hope was sunk in action off Chilean coast.' His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel Ref 4). HMS Good Hope was a Drake Class armoured cruiser built in 1901. By 1914 she was Rear Admiral Sir Christopher George Cradock’s flag ship which, along with HMS Monmouth and other British vessels of 4th Cruiser Squadron, encountered Vice Admiral von Spee’s Scharnhorst and Gneisenau forty five miles off the Chilean port of Coronel. The German ships were faster and more heavily armed than Cradock’s fleet. The sun set at 18:50 on November 1st 1914, which silhouetted the British ships against the light sky while the German ships became indistinguishable from the shoreline behind them. Von Spee immediately turned to close and signalled his ships to open fire at 19:04 when the range closed to 12,300 yards. Spee's flagship, Scharnhorst, engaged Good Hope while Gneisenau fired at Monmouth. Cradock's flagship was hit on the Scharnhorst's third salvo, when shells knocked out her forward 9.2-inch turret and set her forecastle on fire. Cradock, knowing his only chance was to close the range, continued to do so despite the battering that von Spee's ships inflicted. By 19:23 the range was almost half of that when the battle began and the British ships bore onwards. Von Spee tried to open the range, fearing a torpedo attack, but the British were only 5,500 yards away at 19:35. Seven minutes later, Good Hope charged directly at the German ships, although they dodged out of her way. Spee ordered his armoured cruisers to concentrate their fire on the British flagship which had drifted to a halt with her topsides ablaze. At 19:50 her forward magazine exploded, severing the bow from the rest of the ship, and she later sank in the darkness. Von Spee estimated that his flagship had made 35 hits on Good Hope, suffering only two hits in return that did no significant damage and failed even to wound one crewman. Good Hope was sunk with all hands, a total of 919 officers and men. Note: Most of Good Hope and Monmouth’s ships' companies were Naval Reservists whereas von Spee’s crews were well trained and experienced. There were just two other British ships in the squadron, the light cruiser HMS Glasgow and the armed merchant cruiser Otranto, neither of which were a threat to von Spee’s modern ships which had a greater fire-power than those of the British Squadron. The captain of Cradock’s flagship, HMS Good Hope, was Captain Philip Francklin, who was a career officer and came from Gonalston Nottinghamshire (he is on the Gonalston memorial). A postscript is that von Spee’s squadron was destroyed, and he and his two sons killed, when the Royal Navy under Admiral Sturdee exacted retribution six weeks later at the Battle of the Falkland Islands 8/12/1914.’
Served as John Taylor. (Probate record: ‘Ferdinand Bertram Hallam Taylor otherwise John’) Additional inscription on headstone, North Muskham (St Wilfrid) churchyard, marking the grave of George William Taylor,: 'In loving memory of our beloved grandfather George William Taylor, who died 14th November 1900 aged 82 years. Till we meet to part no more. In loving memory of Ferdinand Taylor who lost his life while serving in battle on HM Ship 'The Cape of Good Hope' (sic) on 1 November 1914 in the Pacific Ocean aged 27 years. Peace perfect peace. His sorrowing wife and children and his sister Mona.' George William Taylor was Ferdinand's grandfather; he was born in North Muskham although in 1871 he was living with his wife, Mary, and son George William (15) in Southwell. Probate: Taylor Ferdinand Bertram Hallam otherwise John of Laughton Common near Rotherham Yorkshire died 1 November 1914 in the Pacific Ocean Probate London 2 March to Beatrice Annie Taylor widow. Effects £68 19s. 8d. CWGC cites his age as 28, which will have been taken from Ferdinand's RN record. The inscription on the family gravestone gives his age as 27.
Remembered on


  • (WmA27357) Family gravestone  North Muskham (St Wilfrid) churchyard.  Photograph Rachel Farrand (March 2013)
    Photos Rachel Farrand - (WmA27357) Family gravestone North Muskham (St Wilfrid) churchyard. Photograph Rachel Farrand (March 2013)
  • (WMA27357) Family gravestone, North Muskham (St Wilfrid) churchyard. Photograph Rachel Farrand (March 2013)
    FBH Taylor - (WMA27357) Family gravestone, North Muskham (St Wilfrid) churchyard. Photograph Rachel Farrand (March 2013)