by Tim Harding
Geoffrey (‘Squizzy’) Taylor was born in 1920 in England and came to Adelaide at the age of three. By the age of 14 he had won a cadetship and became the shipping reporter on the ‘Adelaide News’. He went to Brighton in Victoria at the age of 19 and joined Goldberg Advertising.
When World War II was declared he joined the RAAF in 1939 and became a Lancaster pilot with Bomber Command. After being shot down by German ace night fighter pilot Friedrich-Karl Müller in 1943, Geoff Taylor spent the rest of the war as a P.O.W. in the notorious Stalag IV-B Prison Camp, near Mühlberg in the Prussian Province of Saxony in Germany.
Photographed on a local flight, Geoff Taylor’s bomber LM326 is seen here against a background of countryside east of Grantham.
Whilst sorting through some family photographs recently, my wife and I found this photograph of Geoff’s crashed bomber. The inscription on the back of the photograph reads: ‘Lancaster Mk.II Serial No. LM326, No. 207 Squadron, Bomber Command (EM-Z). Crashed near the village of Aerzen, near Hamelin, SW of Hannover on the night of 18.10.43.’
Geoff was demobbed and returned to Australia in 1945, joining the “Age” as a reporter. His main interest was flying, and he also loved to sail. He was a member of the Royal Brighton Yacht Club from the end of the War to 1991. He was a good friend of my father, Bruce Harding, and was in the same yacht syndicate, the ‘Vallhalla’ (which means ‘home of the gods’). I admired and liked Geoff a lot.
Geoff Taylor loved to write and published 12 books including ‘Piece of Cake‘, (his autobiography) and a book for children.
He completed the manuscript ‘Hours of Glory’ of a biography of the young South Australian aviator Charles James (“Jimmy”) Melrose (1913-1936) which was not published. It was awarded the Inaugural Alan Marshall Award for the best unpublished manuscript. He suffered a severe stroke in 1991 and died at an East Brighton nursing home on 19 December 1992. His widow Mrs A. Taylor donated his papers relating to his research and book about “Jimmy” Melrose to the Mortlock Library in 1993.
Melbourne suburban newspaper article: “Farewell to a man of many talents after a life of adventure” c. December 1992.