Private Thomas Edward Taylor (201095) worked as a hairdresser in Oxford before joining the 2/4th Battalion of the OBLI in October 1914. He was the barber of the battalion until he was honourably discharged aged 26 in 1918 as being ‘no longer fit for war’. He was later awarded the Silver War Badge for his service. Upon his return to England Taylor set up his own business in Oxford, and married his wife, Rose.
Pictured here, is Taylor’s notebook of names, which was kindly donated to the museum by the Taylor family. In this notebook, each of the soldiers whose hair he had cut signed their names, along with their rank, which company they belonged to, and sometimes service number. In some of the cases, this would have been the last time that the soldier signed their name. Objects like this are extremely useful to us as they provide a chance to compare our records of soldiers and verify their names and company details. It is also an interesting object in itself, and provides an intimate look onto Taylor’s work as a barber.