THE “SEALS” ANSWER THE CALL.
Rarely is there a dark cloud without a silver lining, and amid the many sad messages which came from the front, the people of Hyde read many cheery messages from Mr. Joe Smith, the noted Hyde Seal Swimming Master, which were addressed to Councillor W. Fowden. He went to France about the beginning of October, 1915, and there did much good work with the motor ambulances. Apart from his duties, Orderly Smith was a keen observer, and he had many meetings with Hyde lads, on the roads and in the fields, and hospitals, and on one occasion arranged a convivial gathering in a French town. Early in 1916, Orderly Smith was at home several days on leave, and then returned to France.
Orderly Joe Smith
The noted Hyde Seal Swimming Master, now a cheery ambulance worker.
WARRIORS WHO ARE SWIMMERS.
Among the noted Hyde swimmers who fought in the war, were several members of the Taylor family. There were five brothers, all of whom had been prominently connected with Hyde Seal Swimming Club. The Taylor’s were a Hyde family, though the home of Sergeant George Taylor, of the Grenadier Guards, whose conduct on the battlefield in France led to him being recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal, was at Hyde road, Denton. Sergeant George Taylor fought in several important actions, having many thrilling escapes, and he was wounded in the engagement at Hohenzollern Redoubt, in October, 1915. On that occasion, he was called on by a German Officer to surrender, and replied by throwing a bomb, which killed or wounded four of the enemy. A little later, a piece of shrapnel struck his helmet, there were no doubt he would have been instantly killed. He was also struck on the shoulder. After hospital treatment, he made a recovery, later was employed on munitions.
Sergeant George Taylor.
Of the Grenadier Guards, A noted swimmer, recommended for the D.C.M.
Rifleman Herbert H. Taylor, brother of Sergeant George Taylor, was wounded in france about March, 1916, after being there over twelve months. Three months later he was back in the trenches. Rifleman Taylor was an ex-boy swimming champion of Hyde, and in this connection had a fine record.
Rifleman H. H. Taylor.
A “Champion” swimmer, wounded in France, above March, 1916.
Another brother, Charles was in Australia when the war started. Early in 1915 a letter was received from him stating he intended joining the Australian Forces. Nothing further had been heard of him up to May, 1916, beyond a rumour that he had been killed in the war, but of this there was no confirmation. Charles was married, and before going to Australia was employed in the cloth-room at Greencroft Mill, Hyde.
Seth Taylor, was another brother, joined the British Army about fifteen years before the war, and was with the 10th Hussars. He spent four or five years in India, and whilst there met an accident. He was granted a life pension.
The eldest brother, Mr Eli Taylor, an Assurance Company Superintendent at Hyde, married, with five children, attested under the Lord Derby’s scheme. He had been connect with the Hyde Seal Club since it’s formation in 1895.