Albert Bailey, Private 291430, 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Died of wounds whilst a prisoner of war 28th September 1917 in Egypt, aged 25
Albert Bailey was born in Macclesfield in 1891. The eldest son of Frederick Bailey and Sarah Ann (nee Brindley), he spent most of his life living at the family home at 31 Saville Street, Macclesfield, and attended St. Peter’s Church School on nearby Windmill Street.
Albert was not among the first to volunteer – his original service number (4135) confirms that he enlisted with his local unit, the 1/7th Battalion (Territorial Force), Cheshire Regiment, sometime between August and November 1915. Whilst Albert’s service record has not survived, his Medal Index Card confirms that he did not see overseas service before 1916.
Albert proceeded to Egypt and joined “D” Coy., 1/7th Cheshire’s, in the war against the Turkish forces (firstly in the defence of the Suez Canal and subsequently in the campaign in Gaza).
It was during the Battle of Gaza in early 1917, that Pte. Albert Bailey was wounded and captured.
On 5th May 1917, Albert was officially reported as “wounded and a prisoner in Turkish hands”. He was subsequently reported as having died on 28th September 1917 whilst a Prisoner of War in Asia Minor. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 9 August 1918:
DIED – Mrs Bailey, Saville St, Macclesfield, has received news from Geneva that her son, Pte Albert Bailey, Ches Regt, has died a prisoner of war. Pte Bailey, who was 26 years of age, enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war, and was drafted to Egypt. He was severely wounded in both legs at Gaza, and was taken prisoner by the Turks. Death occurred as the result of the wounds. Pte Bailey was educated at St Peter’s School, and prior to enlistment was employed at Lower Heys mill. Two brothers are in France.
Private Albert Bailey has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 14 and 62 of the Basra Memorial, Iraq. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Albert Bailey, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Albert was the nephew of Pte. Albert Brindley, who was killed in action in March 1918, and cousin of Harry Brindley (Albert’s son), who was killed fighting the Japanese in Burma in 1944.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
WWI British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 9 August 1918