Stretford WW1 

Harry Bromley Bailey

Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:432nd Field Coy
Name of Rgt or Ship:Royal Engineers 66th Div.
How Died:Killed in Action
Country of burial:BelgiumGrave Photo:Yes
Cemetery or Memorial:Ramscappelle Road Cemetery
Town Memorial:Not Listed
Extra Information:
Born during the September quarter 1884 in the Macclesfield R.D. - ref:
8a/135, the son of John Henry & Margaret Bailey.  Harry was baptised on the
24th August 1884 at St Michael’s Parish Church, Macclesfield.

1891 Census - 28 Rodney Street, Macclesfield.   Son - aged: 6 - Scholar -
born: Macclesfield.   Head of household - John Bailey - Married - aged: 30
- occ: Stonemason - born: Macclesfield.  Also Margareite Bailey - Wife -
aged: 35 - born: Macclesfield.   Plus 3 siblings - John Fred (8), Edna (4)
and Colin (1), and a widowed boarder - James Bailey, a silk weaver aged 62.
[John's father ???]

1901 Census - 109 Chatham Street, Edgeley, Stockport.   Harry, then aged
sixteen and working as an apprentice stonemason.  He was living there with
his parents and siblings John (18), apprentice stonemason), Edna (14),
winder in a cotton mill), Colin (11), Valentine (9), Archie (7), Florence
(4) and Maggie (2).   It’s likely that John and Harry were apprenticed to
their father and worked with him.

Harry’s father, John Henry Bailey, died on the 25th December 1903 and was
buried in Cheadle (Park Road) Cemetery, Park Road, Cheadle. Harry’s
mother - Margaret, died on the 31st December 1956 aged: 101 and is buried
with her husband.    Also commemorated on the family gravestone are
Harry’s sisters Maggie (died 1941, aged 42), Florence (died 1980, aged
83) and Gertrude (died 1987, aged 85).

Harry married Esther Elizabeth Shelmerdine on the 12th May 1906 at All
Saints Church, Heaton Norris, the marriage being registered during the June
quarter 1906 in the Stockport R.D. - ref: 8a/42.. The couple had two sons:
Cyril (born in 1907), and Harry (born in 1909)

Harry was employed as a stonemason by Mr. Symonds, a builder of Castle
Street, Stockport.

1911 Census - 91 Vienna Road, Edgeley.  Head of household - Married - aged:
26 - occ: Stonemason - born: Macclesfield.  Also - Esther Elizabeth Bailey
- Wife - aged: 26 - born: Stockport.   Plus their two sons - Cyril & Harry

His wife - Esther, died during the September quarter 1913 in the Stockport
R.D. - ref: 8a/55, aged: 29.  Soon after enlisting, Harry married Edith May
Tyrer during the June quarter 1915.  There were no children from this

At the time of Harry’s death in 1917, Edith was living at 4 Rae Street,
Edgeley, Stockport; she never remarried and remained in the same house
until her death in 1942.

Like his four brothers, Harry served with the Royal Engineers, enlisting in
Stockport on the 24th March 1915. The 432nd Field Company of the Royal
Engineers was a Territorial Force which was allocated to the 66th (2nd East
Lancs) Division. This division received orders for embarkation for France
on the 11th February 1917.

According to the company war diary, the company left Southampton at 5.15 pm
on the 1st March 1917, arriving at Le Havre at 3.30 am the next day. The
men disembarked at 7.00 am, and on the 3rd March travelled by train to
Berguette, a journey of more than 24 hours, from where they marched until
they arrived at billets in Lambres. The 5 March was spent as follows:
Sappers – overhauling & re-packing wagons, inspection of rifles, kit,
feet and general fatigues; Drivers (of horses) – stable routine, exercise
of horses, cleaning saddlery & harness, inspection of rifles, kit and

By the 1st July 1917 the company was based in Oost Dunkerke and commenced
work on advanced billets at Nieuwpoort. The war diary notes that on the 6th
July 1917, there was heavy shelling round Sardinerie [the sardine factory];
4 men were killed (one being Harry) and 3 others wounded by one shell.  The
Diary states that "it appears that the work may have been observed and so
it will be carried out at night in future".

Harry Bailey’s death was reported in 21st September 1917 edition of the
Macclesfield Advertiser:


Mrs Bailey, of 4 Rae Street, Edgeley, Stockport, has received the sad news
from the War Office that her husband, Sapper Harry Bromley Bailey, of the
Royal Engineers, was killed in action on July 6th. He was 33 years of age,
and enlisted on March 24th, 1915, prior to which he was in the employ of
Mr. Symonds, builder, of Castle Street.   Writing to Mrs. Bailey, who is
left with two children, Lieut. Norman Newton says: “Sapper Bailey was a
willing and trusted worker under trying conditions, and as an officer I
cannot say more of any man.   He died very shortly after receiving his
wounds, which were caused by the explosion of a shell, and he was later
buried in a graveyard by a British chaplain.”

Announcements of Harry’s death were placed by his family in the Stockport
County Borough Express newspaper on the 6th September 1917. These
announcements were printed on a memorial card produced by the family.

Sapper Harry Bailey was originally buried in Nieuwpoort Military Cemetery
in Belgium, a French cemetery in which 107 British soldiers and one sailor
were buried.  After the Armistice, the British bodies from this and other
nearby cemeteries and burial grounds were exhumed and reburied in
Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery, 2 Km east of Nieuwpoort.  Sapper Harry
Bailey is buried in Grave Ref. V. A. 1.  His wife asked for the words
“FAITHFUL IN SERVICE” to be added to his headstone.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Sapper
Harry Bailey, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the
First World War website.  Locally, Sapper Harry Bailey is commemorated on
St Matthew’s Church, Edgeley war memorial, and on panel 6 of the
Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery.  He is also commemorated on the East
Lancashire Royal Engineer's HQ memorial.  This imposing stone memorial was
originally displayed in the East Lancashire Royal Engineer's HQ at 73
Seymour Grove, Stretford but when the HQ was demolished, the memorial was
erected in the Royal Engineers HQ) at Failsworth, Manchester.

He is commemorated on the Stockport 1914-18 website -   He is also
commemorated on the Macclesfield Reflects website -   I am most
grateful to the owners of both these websites for allowing me to use much
of their material.

His brothers also served.- John Fred Bailey,  served as Sapper 179817 with
the Royal Engineers;  Colin Bailey, who served as Sapper 18888 with the
17th Field Company of the Royal Engineers; Valentine Bailey, who served as
Sapper 269535 – later as WR-25888 (Waterways & Railways) – with the
Royal Engineers; and Archie Bailey, who served as Driver 442641 with the
Royal Engineers, and also served for a time as Driver 4079 with the
Cheshire Regiment. All survived the war.

M.I. - "Faithful in service".

Memorials found on:
Royal Engineers HQ
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