Biddulph & District Genealogy & Historical Society Biddulph Grange

Biddulph and the Great War

'There Shall Be In That Rich Earth A Richer Dust Concealed'

'We Will Remember Them'

Private John Bailey

8655, 1st Bn., The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) died October 28th 1914 Age 34

Killed in Action October 28th 1914 Age 34

Although born in Biddulph, John also lived for many years at various homes in Hanley with his mother Mary and father Henry, a police constable in the city. John was to marry Mary Ellen about 1909 and they were to have a daughter, Florence. By 1911, John described himself as a cabinet maker on the census returns. At that time the family lived at 32, Austin Street, Hanley.

By the outbreak of the Great War on August 4th 1914 we believe that John was already in the army. Although his service records have not survived he seems to have enlisted at Warrington prior to August 1914, joining the King’s Liverpool Regiment. This regiment with its long history was stationed at Talavera barracks Aldershot. John, along with his pals in 1st Battalion King’s including James Barlow, another local soldier, sailed on August 13th from Southampton aboard the SS Irrawaddy, this being only ten days after hostilities commenced. They formed part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and were attached to the 2nd Division.

After disembarking at Le Havre the division moved into Belgium in preparation for the Battle of Mons on August 23rd, and then bravely fighting the retreat before moving to the battles of The Marne and Aisne in September. From mid-October the battalion were in the Westhooke-Zandvoorde-Zillebeke area of Belgium preparing for the first Battle of Ypres.

During this battle the 1st King’s lost about fifty men including their CO Lt. Col. Bannatyne. As the battle raged into late October our brave soldier, Private John Bailey, at the age of thirty four was also to die on the battlefield. It was on October 28th 1914. John has no known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate in Ypres.

Mike Turnock

A list of all the medals awarded to the men of the Biddulph area has been compiled and can be viewed here.


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