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Lance-Corporal Tom (Arthur Watts) Bailey

200499 1st/4th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

Son of Mr Thomas W & Mrs Katherine A Bailey

Aged 24 years

Died 2nd November 1917

Commemorated in Gaza War Cemetery
Grave XV. D.7

L/Cpl Tom Bailey
Born at Rugby, enlisted at Northampton.
The Rushden Echo Friday 11 May 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Soldier in Palestine - Lance-Corporal Tom Bailey Injured - A Fine Old British Fighting Family

Mr and Mrs T W Bailey, 110, Washbrook road, Rushden, have received official news that their son, 200499, Lance-Corpl Tom Bailey, of the Northants Regt, was wounded on April 19th.

Lance-Corpl Bailey, who is the grandson of Mr Thomas Favell, of Irthlingborough, enlisted at the outbreak of war. He fought throughout the Dardanelles campaign, and has twice been sent into hospital with dysentery, but on neither occasion was he sent home on sick furlough, probably owing to the distance he was away from "Blighty." It was probably at the battle of Gaza that Lance-Corpl Bailey received his wounds and at present his parents have received no information as to his whereabouts.

In a letter to his parents, dated three days before the battle Lance-Corpl Bailey writes: "We are moving in a very short time to do our duty for England and get at the Turks, who are waiting for us. It will be a big fight. No doubt by this time you will have seen something in the papers; anyhow I must not go into details. I am feeling quite well and happy. Don't worry, as you know that never does any good, and don't be alarmed if you don't hear from me for some time because it will be impossible to write for a long time."

Mr and Mrs Bailey will be grateful for any information concerning their son. Recently Lance-Corpl Bailey's grandfather, the late Mr Richard Bailey, who was firing captain on H.M.S. Victory, Nelson's flagship, died at Leamington, at the age of 81 years. He was the owner of a Bible with an inscription on the fly-leaf as follows: "Presented by the Rev. Carries to Richard Bailey, 1857." A great-uncle, the late John Bailey, fought through the Crimean war, and retired from the Colours on a pension of 17s 3d per week. He was nearly 90 years of age when he died. It is evident from the above particulars that Lce-Corpl Bailey comes from good British fighting stock.

The Rushden Echo Friday 1 June 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Soldier's Injuries - Lance-Corpl Bailey Tom Bailey - Wounded in Palestine

In our issue of May 11th, we reported that Mr and Mr C A Bailey [sic] of 110, Washbrook road, Rushden, had received official news that their son, 200499 Lance-Corpl Tom Bailey, of the Northants Regiment, had been wounded in the Gaza fighting on April 19th. They have now received a letter from their son stating that he is in the 19th General Hospital, Alexandria. Writing under date April 4th [sic], he says:

"At last I am going to try and write a few lines to let you know I am fairly comfortable and going on per usual, and trying to keep smiling. I expect by the time you get this you will have heard that we have been doing something in Palestine. We have been having some very hard open fighting. We have been attacking the town of Gaza, which is a very strong fortified place, and is supposed to have stood the test of battle about 30 times in history. I may say that the Turks have made a good strong-hold of it, and when we advanced they simply mowed the ground with fire. I must just let you know that I have been hit. I expect you will be worrying, as I suppose you have been notified by the War Office. I got wounded on Thursday morning April 19th, and fell in a cornfield in a large open plain between our lines and the enemy's. There I had to lie until dark, and as they were sweeping the ground with big guns and machine gun fire continually all day long. I was lucky to get only two other flesh wounds, one bullet through the right thigh and two bullets through the right cheek of my buttock, but the one which felled my, and gives me most pain went in my left leg below the knee with a terrible clout on my shin bone, which turned the bullet down towards my foot.

"Yesterday I went under an operation. The bullet was taken out, and I am glad to say I am going on well. I don't suppose I shall be in hospital very long, as they keep clearing out as fast as they can to make room for fresh cases, and it is certain there will be no chance to get home on any sick leave as we are the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, and not fighting in France.

"I don't suppose there is much in the paper about our doings in Egypt, but I should be glad if you could send me the weekly paper with the casualty lists in the - Northants., as there are a great many. I lost my captain in the battle, and many comrades. I don't know if any Rushden chaps were killed, but I know several were hit. I had written you just before we went into action."

The Rushden Echo Friday 21 December 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Soldier Missing - Private T A W Bailey

Mr and Mr C A Bailey [sic] of 110, Washbrook road, Rushden, have received official news that their eldest son, 20499, Pte T A W Bailey, Northants Regiment, has been missing from his unit in Egypt since November, 2nd. Pte Bailey joined the Colours immediately on the outbreak of war, and has been in Egypt ever since he crossed the water. He was badly wounded in five places on April 19th this year, in the first battle of Gaza, and was in hospital six weeks, in addition to which he has had dysentery on two different occasions. Before joining the Army, Pte Bailey was employed with his father, Mr T W Bailey, marine stove dealer, Rushden. Mrs Bailey will be grateful to any of her son's comrades who can send her any information concerning her son, as she has received no news beyond that stated in the official communications. Mr and Mrs Bailey wish also to thank the many friends who have made kind inquiries concerning their son and for the many expressions of sympathy they have received in their anxiety.

Rushden Echo, September 6th, 1918, transcribed by Greville Watson

Rushden’s Casualty List

In November, 1917, we reported that Lance-Corpl. Tom Bailey, Northants Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs T. W. Bailey, 110, Washbrook-road, Rushden, was missing from his unit. Last Sunday Mr and Mrs Bailey received official news that the body had just been found, and the letter also conveyed the deepest sympathy of the deceased soldier’s platoon officer and comrades, together with that of the King and Queen. The late Lance-Corpl. Bailey was 24 years of age, and joined the Colours immediately on the outbreak of war. Prior to meeting his death on November 2nd, 1918 (sic), he had contracted dysentery during the Dardanelles campaign. He was wounded and gassed at the first battle of Gaza on April 2nd, 1917, and as reported above he was evidently killed during the second battle of Gaza in November last. Before joining up he was employed with his father as Marine Store dealer at Rushden, and as a lad passed through the Park-road Baptist Sunday school, Rushden, his name and photograph being on the Roll of Honour of that church.

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