Royal Navy Illustrious Class Fleet Aircraft Carrier






(Uncle George)



Royal Marine Bandsman

Service Number RMB/X2132

24 Jan 1944 - 7 Jan 1947



Frederick George Taylor

January 1944




HMS Victorious

Commissioned March 29th 1944. Tonnage 23000 Tons



Uncle George soon after joining the Royal Marines Band Service

January 1944



Photo Enlargement


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Frederick George Taylor (Uncle George) was born 15 July 1925, the third son of my Grandparents Frederick William and Emma Taylor (née Vickers). The family at this time resided at 115 Campbell Rd. Hamilton, Ontario in Canada. Being the youngest of the three Uncle George was looked after by his older brothers Uncle Harry and my father Frank Sutton Taylor.


Grandfather Frederick William Taylor

Bolton Lancashire England




The family's first home in Canada

115 Campbell Ave

Hamilton Ontario

 Top to bottom - Uncle Harry, Dad and Uncle George




             Grandma Emma Taylor, (standing) Uncle Harry,       Dad (standing) with Uncle George    Granddad Frederick William Taylor, Uncle Harry,

              Dad, Uncle George and the family pet ‘Bobby’                 sitting on trolley 1928                           Dad, Uncle George and ‘Bobby’

             at Campbell Ave. Hamilton Ontario about 1927                                                  




                     Granddad Taylor in Canada about 1920         Grandma Emma Taylor – late 1930s              Dad, Uncle Harry, and Uncle George

                                                                                                                                                                         in Hamilton Canada about 1930





The family moved back to Britain in 1932, first to Bolton, Lancashire and in the same year took up residence at 34 Bideford Ave. in Perivale, Middlesex.




Dad with Uncle George at home in Perivale, Middlesex about 1939            Uncle George at home              My Grandparents Emma and Fred Taylor

                                                                                                                               Perivale 1939                                       in Perivale 1940s



                               Grandparents 1944                    Granddad Frederick William Taylor in the Greenhouse                  Grandparents 1950s

                                                                                                34 Bideford Ave, Perivale about 1939




                            From left – Dad, Tom Westwater, Vincent Voce,                          Uncle George, Dad, Tom Westwater and Vincent Voce

                                         Uncle George and Peter Price                                                                          England 1940




The Taylor Brothers

Dad 18, Uncle George almost 16 and Uncle Harry 20

June 1941




Uncle George married Peggy Lillian Florence Davies (born 8 March 1924) in Hamilton, Ontario in December 1950. They had met in England during the war when Uncle George was playing in the band entertaining troops (ENSA) but were separated when Aunt Peggy moved to Canada for health reasons. During the war Aunt Peggy had worked for the war effort assembling components of the Lancaster bomber. Due to ill health she was advised by her specialist to move to a different climate to recover and she left for Toronto on 5 May 1950. Uncle George followed unexpectedly on 25 December 1950 and they married immediately.



Uncle George and Aunt Peggy 1956



Aunty Peg - 1956



They were to have two children – My cousins Christopher George and Elaine.



                                                  My Grandmother Emma and Aunt Peggy              Grandma, Uncle George and Aunt Peggy

                                                       with cousins Elaine and Christopher                                 with cousin Elaine







Uncle George was a notable trumpet player and the early war years found him playing trumpet professionally though he was still a teenager.

The following photos bear witness to this talent which was to determine the course of his war service when he enlisted at age 18.




                       Aston Villa Social Club - Bilton Rd 1941 (Uncle George right)         West London Rhythm Club 1942 (Uncle George left)



Overseas Broadcast to USA and Canada 3 am - 25 Aug 1942

Uncle George is to the right of the microphone arm in arm with Vera Lynn, the “Forces Sweetheart”



Vera Lynn singing ‘We’ll Meet Again’.

To listen click on the photo below

We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn

Source: You Tube



Authors Note:


We searched for a recording of the programme within the BBC Sound Archive and British Library but only a tiny fraction of BBC radio transmission was archived at the time because of the expense and difficulty of doing so in the pre-tape era. Recording a programme required a pair of disc-cutters to be recording in parallel so that one would still be recording while the disc was being changed on the other. It was only done exceptionally and the essential criterion was the likelihood of rebroadcast. Most live music was not rebroadcast because the (UK) Musicians Union did not allow it. Moreover the aluminium which the ‘acetate’ discs were normally made from was a precious commodity during the war and difficult to obtain for non-war effort purposes.



Some of the people in the previous photo also appear in this photo

including Vera Lynn (3rd from right- back row) Uncle George 7th from right back row


The photo was taken at Ayr Academy a non-denominational secondary school situated in the centre of Ayr in South Ayrshire.

The school's motto is Respice, Prospice, (above the stage) which is Latin for "Look Backwards, Look Forwards".

This translates idiomatically to "Learn from the past, look to the future.”



Dance Hall Performance




Playing with Eddie Mendoza and singer Bette Lana Carole  (Uncle George right)




Eddie Mendoza and singer Bette Lana Carole 



It seems clear that he had a close relationship with his fellow performers.

The photos and messages below date from when Uncle George enlisted in the Navy.



                     Bette Lana Carole                                          Eddie Mendoza who enlisted with the Highlanders




War Service



Photo Album


My Uncle George enlisted on 24 January 1944 and after initial training at the Royal Navy School of Music was posted to Britain’s aircraft carrier H.M.S. Victorious. He served aboard her until 15 November 1945.


Unknown to me he had collected a large number of photographs taken during his time with H.M.S. Victorious and my Aunt Peggy gifted me the album on my visit to the family in Hamilton, Ontario and Toronto on my visit there in 2015. (Uncle George passed away in April 2014.)  My Uncle never spoke of his war service or these photographs but they record his time on the ship, places and events. Many of them are truly remarkable. We have included the captions where recorded by my Uncle on the reverse of the photographs.



To view these photos, the wartime record of H.M.S. Victorious and my Uncle’s naval service just click on the photo of the album below.



The Album







Medals application


I consider my Uncle to be a true patriot – he fought for his country and tried to put the horrors of war behind him. Like his brother my Father Frank Sutton Taylor, he never applied for his medals entitlement nor dwelt on the past. The album was simply put away and never looked at. As Aunty Peg says - Uncle George was a very reserved man. I applied for the medals on his behalf and Aunty Peg generously gifted these to me after his passing.







                           1939 – 1945 Star                        Burma Star with Pacific Clasp                                               War Medal


I’ve often wondered how my Grandparents would have felt with all three sons away on active service during WW II.

My Grandfather served in France with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces during WW I and experienced the horrors of trench warfare.

He would have known first-hand what his boys were getting themselves into.



Frederick William Taylor

Canadian Army  WW1

 129th Overseas Expeditionary Force

Regimental No. 784982

1 March 1881 - 14 June 1962

Photo taken in Hamilton, Ontario

Served in France and Belgium




Band Of Brothers



The three brothers – Uncle George, Uncle Harry and my Dad Frank Taylor. Wartime Service Photos





Post War




Publicity Photos






At the wedding of Tony Manders’ sister. Ken Rackham Best Man.

Uncle George and Aunt Peggy seated right. (1950s)



John MacDonald Sextet - the band (Uncle George left front)






Largely the same group of musicians – Uncle George 4th from left in front row of the orchestra




Grandma with Uncle George 1960s



My Grandmother Emma Taylor

passed away 17 April 1979. She was aged 86.




Later Years


Uncle George,  Russ and Aunt Peggy - 3 July 2008


Uncle George and Aunt Peggy at home - Hamilton Ontario 2010


Uncle George at home 2010



Author’s Note:


On this occasion in 2010 I was most fortunate to take some film footage of my Uncle and Aunt.

To view please click on the photo below.





Uncle George, Aunt Peggy and Russ 2010




                                     Russ, cousin Elaine with husband Brian Campbell                                         Lois and Elaine 2010

                                                                and Lois 2010



Brian and Elaine Campbell 15 Sep 2010




Uncle George & Aunty Peg

Sept 2013




                                          Sheraton Toronto Canada                                                                                  Aunty Peg at home

                                            Brian, Elaine and Russ                                                                                      Hamilton Ontario

                                                13 August 2015                                                                                              18 August 2015





Rest In Peace Uncle George.

I am so very proud to tell your story.


Your loving nephew

Russ Taylor


New Zealand


9th January 2016







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