Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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5376   Sergeant Robert Bailey
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 09/11/2017
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 379th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 15/06/1881
Died: 25/09/1917 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 36
Summary      
Robert Bailey was born on 15th June 1881 in Glenrue, Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone. Robert served in the Boer War. He was a Reservist living in Belfast when he was called up. At the time, he was working for Messrs W & G Baird Ltd. Belfast, where he was employed as a frame maker. Sergeant Bailey served with the 379th Siege Battalion of the Royal Garrison Artillery. Sergeant Bailey was badly wounded on the afternoon of the 25th September 1917. He passed away at about 6:45pm that evening. Robert was 36 years old.
Sergeant Robert Bailey
Further Information
Robert Bailey was born on 15th June 1881 in Glenrue, Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone.
Robert served in the Boer War.
Robert Bailey was a Reservist living in Belfast when he was called up. At the time, he was working for Messrs W & G Baird Ltd. Belfast, where he was employed as a frame maker.
Robert Bailey enlisted in 1909 but brought himself out 61 days later for £3.00. The apparent reason for this was his intention of getting married, but he had already been married for four years. In addition, on his 1909 attestation papers he states he has no family, which was not the case.
Sergeant Bailey served with the 379th Siege Battalion of the Royal Garrison Artillery.
Sergeant Bailey was badly wounded on the afternoon of the 25th September 1917 along with his Section commander and four other gunners. Everything possible was done for him and he was moved to a field dressing station straight away but nothing further could be done. He passed away at about 6:45pm that evening and owing to injections his death was quite peaceful. He regained consciousness before he died and his last words were of you and the children. He was buried the following day in a little cemetery near by. Robert was 36 years old.
Egyptian Exped. Force, Friday Sept 28th 379 Siege Battery R.G.A.
Dear Mrs. Bailey, It is my painful duty to have to inform you that your husband Sergeant Robert Bailey of this battery died of wounds received in action on the afternoon of the 25th. All ranks from the Major downwards desire me to express their deepest sympathies with you and also the children in your sad and terrible bereavement. I can assure you that he is a great loss to the battery as he was brave and courageous at all times and set a brilliant example to the men under him. He was loved by all especially as he treated everyone with kindness and respect which was a big feature in his character. He was wounded badly on the afternoon of the 25th along with his Section commander and four other gunners, everything possible was done for him and he was hurried off to the field dressing station straight away but nothing further could be done. He passed away at about a quarter to seven the same evening and owing to injections his death was quite peaceful. He regained consciousness before he died and his last words were of you and the children. He was buried the following day in a little cemetery near by. Again expressing out deepest sympathies. I remain, Yours very sincerely, J. Pickwell. 2nd Lt.
From the Belfast Telegraph, October 1917:
BAILEY - Died of wounds received in action on September 25, 1917, 5376, Sergt. R. Bailey, Siege Battery, R.G.A., the dearly-loved husband of Annie Bailey, 13 St. Kilda Street. “In the midst of life we are in death. O! God of Love, O! King of Peace, Make wars throughout this world to cease; O! bind us in the heavenly chain, Give peace, O! God, give peace again.”. Deeply regretted by his Wife and little Children. Also his Brothers and Brothers-in-law (the latter two on active service).
From the Belfast Telegraph, October 1917:
Official intimation has come to hand to the effect that Sergeant Robert Bailey, Royal Garrison Artillery (Siege Battery), has died of wounds. Deceased, who was a Reservist, was called up from the service of Messrs W & G Baird Ltd., where he was employed as a frame maker. He leaves widow and four little children, who reside at 13 St Kilda Street, Belfast. An officer writing to Mrs Bailey says he has been asked by all ranks, from major down, to express their deep sorrow at her husband's death. He adds “I can assure you that he is a great loss to the battery as he was brave and courageous at all times and set a brilliant example to the men under him. He was loved by all especially as he treated everyone with kindness and respect which was a big feature in his character.”
From the Belfast Telegraph, October 1917:
Sergeant R Bailey, Royal Garrison Artillery, died of wounds, leaves a widow and four little children, who reside at 13 Kilda Street, Belfast. He was called up from the service of Messrs W & G Baird Ltd,
Robert was survived by his wife Annie and three daughters. The family lived at 13 St. Kilda Street, Belfast.
Regarding two of the daughters, Winifred Bailey died in 1929 and Thomasina passed away in 2002 in Belfast.
The photo above depicts Robert's three daughters, taken around 1920-1922
Sergeant Robert Bailey is buried in Gaza War Cemetery.
Robert Bailey is also commemorated on the 'Stationery, Printing and Allied Trades' Memorial in the North Aisle of St. Anne's Cathedral, Belfast.
Thanks to Richard for supplementing and confirming information.
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Glenrue or Glencrew Aughnacloy Born in Glenrue, Aughnacloy 54.413511 -6.946971
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1911 Census lists Bailey family Does not list Robert as living with the family at house 64 in Mount Street, Ormeau, Belfast, Co Down
2 Belfast Forum Photo of Robert Bailey's children and more information
3 Facebook - Aughnacloy Details of Sergeant Robert Bailey
4 Lennox Wylie website Huge amount of information on Robert Bailey including photos and images
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2020