Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Taylor MA


Charles Taylor was born in 1772 and educated at Westminster and Christchurch, Oxford. He gained a BA in 1794 and an MA in 1797. On 29 Oct 1794 he was commissioned into the 7th Light Dragoons as a cornet. On 22 Sep 1795 he purchased a Troop in the 7th with the rank of lieutenant and saw active service with them in Flanders in 1794-5 and again in Holland in 1799. He was ADC to the Duke of York in 1799. He was a major in May 1801 and exchanged into the 20th Light Dragoons as lieutenant-colonel on 24 Feb 1803. Whilst serving in the Peninsula with the 20th he led a cavalry charge at Vimiera, described as 'one of the most determined charges ever made'. The 20th charged through infantry and attacked the French dragoons and chasseurs. They hacked their way through and galloped out of control towards more infantry. First to reach them was Charles Taylor riding a hot thoroughbred with the bit between its teeth. He was shot dead by a French corporal but his fall was not noticed by his men in the smoke and confusion of the battle. Later they found his body on the hillside, stripped of his uniform, as Portuguese peasants had got there first. He was buried on the field of battle and greatly mourned by his regiment who liked him and regarded him with great respect. The date of his death was 21 August 1808. He was 36 years old. The engraving shows him in the blue uniform of the 7th Light Dragoons.


Regimental Details | Commanding Officers




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by Stephen Luscombe