On The War Memorial Trail….. The WW2 Soldier Killed In Action While Trying To Break The Gothic Line In Italy

4452150 Happy New Year

This first posting for 2021 tells the last of the stories of the WW1 and WW2 servicemen listed on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion.  This blog will continue to provide updates on their stories, and will also continue to tell stories of soldiers from the South Shore area of Prince Edward Island who returned home, and those who lost their lives in war but are not on the Cenotaph.  It will also feature more stories of WW2 soldiers from Atlantic Canada who are buried in The Netherlands, a research project that Pieter is currently involved in.  Pieter and I thank you for your support as these stories have been researched, and hope that you continue with us on this expanded journey of remembrance along the war memorial trail….

January 2, 2021.  Four WW2 soldiers on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion lost their lives in Italy…. George Alfred DUNN of the Carleton & York Regiment, Albert Eugene ARSENAULT of the Cape Breton Highlanders, Ernest Murray NORTON of the West Nova Scotia Regiment, and Arnold Dudley TAYLOR, also of the West Nova Scotia Regiment, the subject of this posting.

Arnold Taylor photo from Barbara Simester

Arnold Dudley Taylor.  (Photo courtesy of Barbara Simester)

Arnold Dudley Taylor was born on July 13, 1913 in Charlottetown, the son of Wilfred F. Taylor and Beatrice Holbrook.  His father was a pharmacist and owned a pharmacy in Kensington, and Arnold Dudley followed in his footsteps, after graduating from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. 

He was also an avid golfer, winner of Island Golf Championship at the age of 19. His daughter, Barbara Simester, noted that “… The Taylors were very athletic. Father won a lot of trophies and played at the Belvedere Club in Charlottetown….”  In addition to sports, Barbara explained that he was a member of the church choir. “… Father was a baritone in the United Church …

Beginning July 3, 1928 he was a member of the PEI Light Horse Militia, re-engaging every 3 years until his enlistment in Halifax with the West Nova Scotia Regiment for active duty service on July 13, 1940, with the rank of Lieutenant.  On May 3, 1941 he married Annalea MacDonald, a teacher in the North Tryon school.

In February 1942 daughter Barbara was born, and shortly afterwards Arnold Dudley was sent to the Debert Military Camp in Nova Scotia and transferred to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders.  By May 1942 he was in the United Kingdom.  In January 1943 he was transferred back to the West Nova Scotia Highlanders, while still in the United Kingdom.

Arnold Dudley was sent to Italy on October 27, 1943, part of the contingent of reinforcement troops.  The Regiment had landed in Sicily in June 1943, and had been in mainland Italy since September 3, 1943, as part of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Infantry Division. 

Like Albert Eugene Arsenault of the Cape Breton Highlanders, he was killed in action on August 30, 1944, during the Battle of the Gothic Line. The Gothic Line was a German defence line in Northern Italy. 

An article by Mark Zuelke in the Canadian Encyclopedia explains what happened that day…. “…on 30 August, two regiments of the 1st Infantry Division — the West Nova Scotias and the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) — attacked on the right, while 5th Division’s Perth Regiment and Cape Breton Highlanders struck to the left. The West Novas were caught in a minefield and suffered heavy casualties…”  (See https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/battle-of-the-gothic-line)

Arnold Dudley was buried in the Montecchio War Cemetery in Italy, as was Arsenault.

Grave of Arnold Taylor from Barbara Simester

Grave of Arnold Dudley Taylor in Montecchio War Cemetery.  (Photo courtesy of Barbara Simester)

When we met with Arnold Dudley’s daughter Barbara a few years ago, she explained that after her father’s death, she and her mother moved from Kensington to Crapaud, and later to Hampton. Barbara attended Grade 1 in Hampton and recalled that they lived next to the school with a family named Cameron.

Barbara and her mother later moved to Kingston, Ontario, where Barbara studied to be a nurse, and where she met her husband. 

In 1956 the pharmacy in Kensington had been sold to the Champion family and Arnold Dudley’s parents moved to Calgary. 

CIMG9464 Barbara Taylor with Pieter and Photo Arnold Taylor

Pieter with Barbara Simester in Ottawa. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Thank you to Barbara Simester for sharing photos and anecdotes.  If you have recollections of Lt Arnold Dudley Taylor, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw

To read the previous postings on George Alfred Dunn, Ernest Murray Norton, and Albert Eugene Arsenault, see:

George Alfred Dunn:

Ernest Murray Norton:

Albert Eugene Arsenault:

© Daria Valkenburg

2 thoughts on “On The War Memorial Trail….. The WW2 Soldier Killed In Action While Trying To Break The Gothic Line In Italy

  1. Thank you Pieter. That is a very interesting account! I didn’t know the whole story but Barbara and I are about the same age and our families were very close. We both sang solos as teenagers and both went into nursing. I haven’t heard of her for years!


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