George Bailey, Sergeant 2070, 7th Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Died 10th April 1921 in Macclesfield, aged 39
George Bailey (sometimes spelled Bayley) was born in Macclesfield on 27 April 1881, the son of Emily and Frank Bailey, a fustian cutter from Sandbach. In 1891, ten-year-old George was living at 53 Mill Lane, Macclesfield with his parents and siblings Sarah Jane (13), Arthur (7), and Alice (5). By 1901 the family had moved to 42 Water St, Macclesfield, but George was not with his family on census night; he may be the George Bailey, soldier, born Macclesfield, visiting Thomas Ambridge and his family at Pendleton, Lancashire.
George was educated at St Peter’s School, then at Sutton St George Church of England School and finally, from 1893, at Sutton St George Branch (London Road) School, which his future wife, Euphemia Walthall, also attended.
George probably joined the Cheshire Regiment around 1900, enlisting for the usual term of seven years followed by five years in the reserves. He married Euphemia Walthall in late 1907 and by 1911 they were living at 168 High Street, Macclesfield, with Euphemia’s sister Winifred Walthall. George was employed as an overlooker in the hosiery department of a silk mill. The couple do not seem to have had any children.
An article about the history of the Macclesfield Bethel Baptist Church, printed in the Macclesfield Times on 25 June 1920, mentions “the silver band, which was organised some fifteen years ago, under the able conductorship of George Bailey.” It has not been confirmed that this is the same George Bailey, there being several men of that name in Macclesfield at that time.
George was either recalled or re-enlisted on 6 August 1914, joining the local 7th Cheshire Regiment with service number 2070; on enlistment or later he held the rank of Sergeant. Little is known about his service other than he did not serve overseas and he was discharged from the Army on 18 July 1916 due to being diagnosed with “mitral and aortic disease”; he was awarded silver war badge number 48555 on 20 January 1917.
After his discharge from the Army, George returned to Macclesfield, and died at his home, 168 High Street, on 10 April 1921, a few days before his 40th birthday. It appears that the Army was not informed of his death; there is no record of it on his Army Pension card. An announcement of George’s death was printed in the Macclesfield Courier on 16 April 1921:
BAILEY – On April 10th, at 168 High Street, George Bailey, aged 39 years.
It is interesting to note that some time after the death in 1918 of Harry Desborough, also a member of the Bethel Baptist Church silver band, the address provided for his widow Bertha is 168 High Street, Macclesfield. Euphemia and Bertha were sisters and probably decided, after the deaths of their husbands, to live together in the property which was once their childhood home.
Sergeant George Bailey is buried in grave ref. F. 4581. in Macclesfield Cemetery; the grave is marked with a family memorial. George is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Sergeant George Bailey is commemorated on the Bethel Baptist Church war memorial.
Brother of Arthur Bailey, who served as Private 53770 with the 2nd Battalion, Devonshire Regiment and was killed in action in France on 24 April 1918. Brother-in-law of Harry Desborough, who served as Private 60227 with the Machine Gun Corps and was killed in action on 24th October 1918 in France.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
Census (England & Wales): 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911
National School Admission Registers and Log-books (FindMyPast)
British Army Medal Index Cards (Ancestry)
WWI Silver War Badge Records (Ancestry)
WWI Pension Record Cards (WFA/Ancestry/Fold3)
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 25 June 1920
Macclesfield Courier: 16 April 1921