Cadet Palmer Wilkinson Taylor

This is part of a series of essays about the First World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Rhode Island.

Palmer Wilkinson Taylor
Palmer Wilkinson Taylor

Palmer Wilkinson Taylor was born on 10 March 1896 in Providence, Rhode Island, the youngest of the two children and only son of Frank and Harriett Taylor; he was of English stock—both sets of grandparents were born in England.[1] The family lived in Massachusetts before moving, sometime before 1910, to Santa Monica. In February 1913 his mother died and in 1915 Taylor began his studies at Stanford University.

Taylor abandoned his studies in order to enlist in the Royal Flying Corps. He attested at Toronto on 12 September 1917 (74864, Royal Flying Corps Cadet (Airman 3rd Class)) and, after a period of training at No. 4 School of Aeronautics, he travelled back to the United States to Camp Taliaferro in Texas, where he joined one of the Canadian Training Squadrons in 43 Wing and then No. 2 School of Aerial Gunnery at Hicks Field. Cadet Taylor fell ill and was admitted to the hospital at Camp Taliaferro Field No. 1 (known as Hicks Field) on 23 December 1917. He died there of diphtheria, made worse by a previous bout of scarlet fever, at 12.35am on 2 January 1918. His remains were returned home and he was buried in the family plot in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence on 14 January. The grave site—Group 308, Lot 8, Grave 9—is in the centre of the cemetery, immediately north-east of Rock Pond.

The grave of Palmer Wilkinson Taylor
The grave of Palmer Wilkinson Taylor. Note the missing portrait.

Cadet Taylor is commemorated on page 594 of the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance; that page is displayed on 23 December. He is also commemorated in the Honor Roll of Stanford University and in the Memorial Hall, dedicated in 1937 to the students of the university who died during the First World War.[2] He is commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission here.

1. (Back) Frank J. Taylor (1850-14 March 1937) married Harriett Sarah Wilkinson (1862-27 February 1913) on 28 June 1888: Gladys Maude (later Macomber) (14 September 1894-24 March 1969).
2. (Back) The record of Stanford University in the war, which includes the Honor Roll and photographs of those who died, may be found in the yearbook of 1920. See: Victory Quad of the 1920 Class. (1920). The Quad. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

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