Belgium, Birmingham Daily Gazette, First Battle of Ypres, France, Heath Town, John Bailey, New Cross, Queen Street Congregational Church, South Africa, South Staffordshire Regiment, Southampton, trapmaking
Susan Martin, a volunteer on the Queen Street project, has contributed the following:
John William Bailey was born in Wolverhampton in 1892, the son of John Henry Bailey and Mary Ann Bailey (nee Roberts). He was known as William. In 1901 the family was living 1 New Buildings Heath Town and in 1911 at 244a New Cross. His father was a carter and on the 1911 census William was working as a vermin trap maker (trap making was an industry peculiar to Wednesfield). He had a younger brother, Sidney Harold, and sisters both older and younger, Annie Ada, Alice Octavia, Jessie Mary, Victoria Jane, Olive Mary.
Between 6 April 1911 and 10 April 1912 William joined the 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment. His regimental number was 9119. The Battalion was in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa at the time. It returned to Southampton on the 19 September 1914 and joined 22nd Brigade in 7th Division in Lyndhurst. William embarked to Zeebrugge on 4 October to assist in the defence of Antwerp and the Battalion took up defensive positions at important bridges and defences to aid in the retreat of Belgian army. Amongst the first British troops to entrench in front of Ypres, the Battalion suffered extremely heavy losses in First Battle of Ypres. The Birmingham Daily Gazette 18/12/1914 stated that information had reached Wolverhampton yesterday of the death from wounds received in action of Pvt Wm Bailey of 1st S. Staffs,
The deceased was 22 years of age and his parents lived at New Cross, Heath Town. His mother states that as far as she knows he was wounded near Ypres 7 weeks ago, being shot through the lungs and in the leg. He lay in hospital at Boulogne during that period and though an attempt was made it was not possible to bring him back to England.
William had died in the 7th Stationary Hospital Boulogne on 14 December 1914. His effects amounted to £7 7s 7d and were sent to his father. He is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery. William is commemorated on the Heath Town Park memorial and may also be the W Bailey on the Queen Street Congregational Church Memorial .