James Bailey, Sergeant 11039, 8th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 13th April 1916 in Mesopotamia (Iraq), aged 39
James Bailey was born in Macclesfield in 1877, the son of Joseph and Hannah Bailey, of 72 Windmill Street, Macclesfield.
James married Sarah Ann Rollinson on 6th January 1904 at Macclesfield and they set up home at 10 Tabor Street, Macclesfield. The couple had two children: James (junior) born 25th January 1906 and Hannah who was born on the 1st September 1908.
James attested in Macclesfield on the 17th August 1914, straight after the declaration of war. Prior to enlisting into the army James was employed as a bricklayers labourer. His army medical record shows him to have been a man of five feet six and three quarter inches tall weighed 147lbs with a chest measurement of forty inches, his eyes were brown and so was his hair.
James gain promotion fairly rapidly, but after attaining the rank of Sergeant he was promptly reduced to the rank of Corporal for a military misdemeanour.
On the 26th June 1915 James embarked with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF) for the Persian Gulf, stopping off on the way at the Dardanelles and participating in the evacuation of Suvla and Helles. The MEF proceeded from here to Port Said before embarking for Basra where they were part of the 13th Division. James was then re-promoted to the rank of Signalling Sergeant. The 8th Battalion were actively engaged in a second attempt to take Sannaiyat; their efforts to take the Turkish trenches were met with fierce opposition resulting in seven men killed fifty wounded and sixty four missing. James was one of the wounded on the 11th April 1916 and he died as a result of these wounds two days later on the 13th April at the age of 39.
James’ widow later moved to 42 Windmill Street, Macclesfield.
The floral tributes laid when the Macclesfield Park Green War Memorial was unveiled on 21st September 1921 included one with the words “Sergeant J. Bailey – Deepest sympathy from wife, children, mother and brothers.”