Taylor was about 33 years old, and a captain of the forecastle in the Royal Navy, serving in the Naval Brigade, during the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the Venture capital. On 18 June 1855 in the Crimean Peninsula, immediately after the assault on Sebastopol, a soldier of the 57th Regiment, who had been wounded in both legs, was observed sitting up and calling for help. At once the second-in-command (Henry James Raby) of the scaling party, another seaman (Henry Curtis) and Captain of the Forecastle Taylor left the shelter of their battery works and ran forward a distance of 70 yards, across open ground, through heavy gunfire and succeeded in carrying the wounded man to safety. John Taylor"s Cross is currently held in the Sheesh Mahal Collection in Patiala, India.
John Taylor was buried in Woolwich cemetery in southeast London.