Born on 5th August 1895 at Chigwell, son of Harry (a postman) and Charlotte L. Bailey. In 1901 he was listed as living with his parents and brothers at Hainault Road Chigwell. 1911: A Telegraphic Messenger living with his parents and brother Frederick at 3 Texas Villas, Turpins Lane, Woodford Bridge (Chigwell). He also had two sisters. Just short of his 16th birthday, Harry Bailey joined the Royal Navy on 6th June 1911 as a Boy Seaman at HMS“Impregnable.” In 1913 he formally enlisted for 12 years adult service, and on 9th April 1914 was allocated to the torpedo boat HMS “Kestrel” at Chatham in Kent. When war broke out “Kestrel” was moved from Chatham to Sheerness and the more open waters of the River Thames.
On 30th November 1914 “Kestrel” was sailing in the wider Thames Estuary having departed from Sheerness on 27th November 1914. Harry Bailey was hard at work cleaning and maintaining forward torpedo tubes when at about 07.30 he felloverboard. A search was immediately begun, but called off at 08.00 when no trace of him was found. His survival chances had not been helped by the heavy weatherproof clothing that he wore. Following his loss the ship made for Felixstowe, docking at about 09.30. He is recorded as being Killed on Active Service, the first of the three Bailey boys to die in this war.
He is also commemorated on Chigwell War Memorial.
Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
"Marching to War"