Bert Tayler played county cricket for his native Gloucestershire in 1914 before appearing for Glamorgan between 1920 and 1927. During the Great War, he served with the Royal Artillery with the right-handed batsman being decorated for his brave actions.
Bert hailed from a farming family who also dabbled in brewing, and was . educated at Burford School and subsequently Wellingborough, where he won a place school’s cricket XI. After leaving school, he worked in the family’s brewery at Northleach, and during August 1914 was called up by Gloucestershire to play against Sussex and Surrey in the Championship matches which were part of the historic Festival at Cheltenham College.
He marked his first-class debut by making 13 and 43* batting at number seven in the draw against Sussex, before making 23 and 5 against Surrey, but the latter match ended in an innings defeat and a loss inside two days for the West Country side, and Bert was not called up for Gloucestershire’s remaining two fixtures of the season at Bristol and The Oval.
Shortly afterwards, Bert enlisted with the Royal Artillery and subsequently undertook training with the Tank Corps where he rose to the rank of Sergeant, with his unit undertaking several successful missions on the Western Front, including manoeuvres near Amiens to regain Moreuil Wood and to further quell the German Spring Offensive. On July 23rd he took part in an assault on German positions, and after losing his commander, Bert seized the initiative himself leading his tank in a successful raid on a machine-gun nest, before moving into a position where he was able to protect the advancing Allied troops who duly regained the Wood. His fearless actions saw Bert being presented with the DCM and the French Medaille Militaire.
After being demobilised, Bert moved to South Wales where he joined his maternal uncle, Percy Cadle who ran a tobacco manufacturing and retail business in Cardiff, besides serving on the Glamorgan committee. Bert made his Glamorgan debut during 1920 in their friendly against JHP Brain`s XI at the Arms Park before the following June making his Championship debut for his adopted county, again at the Arms Park, against Northamptonshire. It proved though to be an inauspicious first appearance as he was dismissed for a duck.
Bert re-appeared in four matches for Glamorgan during 1923, and struck 31 in their match against Gloucestershire. The amateur, who continued to enjoy much success in club cricket, also played against Yorkshire in May 1924, plus three matches in June and July 1926, during which he made an assertive 44 against the powerful Nottinghamshire side. After his bravery on the Western Front, the fiery bowling of the visiting attack certainly did not ruffle his feathers, but his business commitments prevented him from playing for Glamorgan on a regular basis and he made only one further Championship appearance, in June 1927 when he scored 42 against Derbyshire.
TAYLER, Herbert William
Born – Aldsworth, Gloucs, 6 Dec 1887
Died – Dawlish, 17 April, 1984
Career-bests for Glamorgan
In Minor County cricket – 10 v JHP Brain’s XI at Arms Park, 1920
In First-class cricket – 44 v Nottinghamshire at Swansea, 1926.
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