Born in 1898 at Chigwell, son of Harry (a postman) and Charlotte L. Bailey. In 1901 he was listed as living with his parents and brothers Charles and Harry at Hainault Road Chigwell, In 1911 he is living with his parents and brother Harry Norman at 3 Texas Villas, Turpins Lane, Woodford Bridge (Chigwell). He also had two sisters.
A Postman at Woodford, he was living at 59 Francis Avenue Ilford when he joined up at Stratford on 13-08-15. In fact he was 17 years old, but the papers show he declared himself to be two years older at 19. Allocated to the reserve Regiment of 1 Life Guards, he was trained at various locations including Hyde Park Barracks in London.
The Household Battalion was formed on 1st September 1916, creating an Infantry unit from members of the Household Cavalry Reserve Regiments, and so Frederick Bailey found himself in trenches at the Somme on 17th November 1916. He was wounded during December 1916, being treated at 2/2 London Casualty Clearing Station at Grovetown near Bray sur Somme, and 6 General Hospital at Rouen. He was repatriated to England in the New Year, where he spent a year with the Household Battalion Reserves, before being transferred on 29th January 1918 to the Guards Reserves at Caterham. On 31st March 1918 at the time of the German Spring Offensive, he was drafted to France and allocated to 1 Company of 2 Grenadier Guards.
On 4th May 1918 his Battalion relived 1 Irish Guards in the line East of Ayette. The line having moved forward, it was necessary to erect new barbed wire in order to protect the British positions, and 1 Company were set to work that night. Although men worked quietly to avoid alerting the enemy, if either side heard an unusual noise, their usual response was to fire a sweeping burst of machine gun fire into the darkness in the hope of hitting any troops who were out of their trenches, Unfortunately, one such burst hit Frederick Bailey in both legs, and he was brought back to the Aid Post, and then on to 9 Field Ambulance. He died there from his wounds during 5th May 1918, the third of the three Bailey boys to be lost in this war.
He is also remembered on the Chigwell War Memorial.
X/R: Acting Sergeant Harry Norman Bailey and Private Charles Ernest Bailey (Brothers).
Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian
“Marching Off To War”