Images and information courtesy of Sue.
Born: 29th June 1922, Ipswich.
Died: 28th December 1942; age: 20; Woodhall Spa, when a photoflash exploded inside aircraft.
Occupation: a General Clerk – Builder’s.
Rank: Aircraftman Second Class; Service Number: 1457016.
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 97 Squadron.
Father: Horace Henry Taylor, born January, 1888, Debach, Suffolk.
Mother: Ethel Eliza Taylor (nee Beck), born November 1893, born Letheringham, Suffolk.
ENGLAND & WALES REGISTER 1939
Aubrey was a Builder’s General Clerk. He was living with his parents & brother at their family home – 19, Rydal Walk, Ipswich.
Horace, a Drilling Machinist – Motor & Milling Engineers.
Ethel, unpaid Domestic Duties.
Dennis Alan Taylor, born February 1921, Suffolk.
Aubrey and Betty.
On the 18th August 1942, Ipswich, Aubrey married ‘Betty’ Winifred Elizabeth Peasgood Pell, born September 1922, Ipswich.
They had 1 daughter:
Anne Elizabeth Taylor, born February 1943 – 6 weeks after the death of her father.
A family note: My Grandmother Winifred Elizabeth Peasgood Pell who was known as Betty. Sadly my mother, Anne Elizabeth Taylor was born about 6 weeks after Aubrey died, so there is no photo of them all together. Betty has now passed away herself and amongst her photos I have found a couple of RAF servicemen groups; the larger one I think has Aubrey two in from the left and two up (the first standing row behind the seats), the smaller picture I’m not sure about as Aubrey’s brother (Dennis Alan Taylor) was also in the RAF, they must have enlisted together. After the war Dennis returned to Ipswich and lived in Wherstead with his wife Rene until he passed away in 2008.
Aubrey is also remembered on the war memorial at St. Augustine of Hippo Church, Ipswich.
Photograph courtesy of Kevin Bending, Hon Historian of the 97 Squadron Association
28th December 1942
The Lancaster R5548 bore the signature of HM Queen Elizabeth in a card on the nose section. Hence the aircraft being known as Q-Queenie despite bearing the call sign A-Alpha. Aubrey served as an armourer when he was working inside Queenie on the ground at Woodhall Spa. Tragically a photoflash accidentally ignited in the fuselage. The aircraft was carrying a full bomb load, and had petrol ready for operations, exploded and was destroyed The fuselage from the wings to the tail was completely destroyed. Although other airmen were near the aircraft and one on the starboard wing, no one else was injured. This was due to the explosion blasting out to port.
a family note: Aubrey and Dennis’s parents lived in Ipswich. They were Horace Henry Taylor (1888-1890 born in Debach, Suffolk) and Ethel Eliza Taylor (nee Beck) (1893-1979 born in Letheringham, Suffolk). Horace Henry Taylor served in WWI (Royal Engineers, Light Railway Signals).