21 May 1917 : Capt. John Wilson Tailford M.C.

Born 6 March 1893, Tynemouth 

Parents Robert (a Tynemouth Engineer) and Sarah (née Wilson) 

Age 8 in 1901 John was at home in North Shields. His mother kept a boarding house. At the time of the census there were his mother, two older sisters, a domestic servant and three boarders in their 60s. 

John was educated in West Sussex at Christ’s Hospital, Horsham where he was was a member of the OTC.

Age 18 at the 1911 he was staying in a hotel in south west London. 

A Civil Engineer before the war, and a Fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers. He volunteered for active service on the outbreak of war and obtained a commission in The Border Regiment in September 1914. Promoted Lieutenant the following November and Captain in April 1915. 

John  served initially served in France and Flanders with the BEF. He was awarded the Military Cross for a successful bombing expedition behind the German lines and was strongly recommended for the Victoria Cross by his Colonel fora daring reconnaissance at night with some Northumberland Miners whno volunteered to go out. 

He was wounded three times before successfully transferring to the Royal Flying Corps. He obtained his wings in September 1916. He was gazetted Flight Commander 20 May 1917. He was killed in a flying accident near Dover 21 May 1917.

He was buried in St.James’ Churchyard, Dover. 

Capt. John Wilson Tailford M.C. 7th (Service) Bn. The Border Regiment, attached to the Royal Flying Corps

21 May 1917


Sources: Du Ruvigny’s Vol. V. Ancestry Census Records.