Arthur Eric Bailey, Age 23
Sargeant 2626, 1/6th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment.
Arthur & Harry were the sons of Mr John Bailey and Mrs Susan Bailey of 13 High
Arthur had been educated at the Adams Grammar School, Newport and afterwards trained and became a member of the teaching profession following a course at the Goldsmith's College. Arthur had taught for a time at both the Pool Hill and Malinslee Schools.
Judging by his army number Arthur was a pre-war territorial and the 6th Battalion South Staffs were a territorial Battalion. The 6th Battalion had become part of the 46th North Midland division which in early 1915 had become the first full territorial division to be sent to France.
The division had already seen some hard fighting by early 1916, most notably at the Hollenzollern redoubt which on October 13th 1915 they had attacked in an attempt to retake as the final act in the battle of Loo's which had started on September 25th. The Division was devastated during this attack and the 6th South Staffs alone suffered over 400 casualties.
Arthur had come through the battle and in March 1916 was with his battalion in trenches at Neuville st. Vaast when according to the battalion war diary;
"March 29th - Enemy shelled our trenches heavily from 2 p.m., Using howitzers and H.E. (High Explosive), and concentrating on O.64 and O.S.63 with H.E. and the ground between them with howitzers. Our artillery barrage operated very quickly and at 6.50pm we sprang a mine, which formed a crater on the left of B.4. The hole was occupied and partly conso lidated.
The enemy then severely bombarded Payeme trench and 0.63, 0.64, O.S.63 and O.S.6 with H.E until approximately 8 pm from then on the situation became quieter and the work of repair and consolidation was pressed on with."
Arthur must have been killed in one of these bombardments because according to another Dawley man (Private Boycott) who was serving with him at the time, " A German shell blew in the trench that he was in burying him and 4 other men, When they dug Arthur out he was already dead"
Arthur lies buried in the Ecoivres Military Cemetery at Mont-st-Eloi in grave L.C.l3. His death was mentioned in the local Baptist newsletter (The Dawley News) and it was stated that a cross had been placed on his grave by a fellow Dawley soldier, probably the same Private Boycott that has already been mentioned.
Inscription added to head stone by, Mr. J.W.G. Bailey, 16, High Street, Dawley, Salop.
|Victory Medal||British War Medal||1914-15 Star Medal|