We Have Our Lives

Roy Bailey
  • Born Brislington, 1887
  • Died Villers–Plouich, France, 5th January 1918
  • Age30
  • RankSecond Lieutenant
  • RegimentRoyal Marines
  • Unit1st Battalion

Roy Bailey

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Royal Hubert Silas Bailey was born in Brislington in South East Bristol in the first quarter of 1887. Roy emigrated to Australia some time before the war, and went to enlist on the outbreak. He was rejected on medical grounds, so decided to pay his own way back to Bristol to enlist there. He married Ethel Jones on the 5th of December 1915, while on leave. She continued to live at 28 St. Michael’s Park after the war.

Roy had a very varied experience of the war, first joining the North Somerset Yeomanry, with whom he was promoted to Corporal. He then went to South Africa to serve with the Umvoti Mounted Rifles, seeing action in what was then German South West Africa. Finally in June 1917 Roy was commissioned Temporary Second Lieutenant in the Royal Marines. He joined the 1st Battalion of the Marines on New Year’s Day 1918, where they were fighting south of Cambrai.

Roy was reported missing on the 5th of January, only five days after he arrived, and fears he had died were confirmed a fortnight later when his body was found. He left one son, who was born 10 days prior to Roy leaving for France. He was buried near where his body was found, south of the village of Villers-Plouich. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.