George Arthur BAILEY
Rank: Private
Number: 26240
Unit: 20th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 1 July 1916
Age: 37 (based on 1901 Census)
Cemetery: Dantzig Alley Cemetery, Mametz, Somme, France

George Bailey had been born in Cheadle.  The 1901 Census records the family living at 1 Brook Street. His father was William Bailey, who worked as a gardener and his mother was Adeline. He had a younger sister called Bertha. At the time of the Census, he was working as a Damper at a bleachworks. He later moved to New Mills, Derbyshire. Around 1912, he moved back to Cheadle for employment and had been working at Clay's Bleachworks. He lived at 47 Francis Street, Cheadle with his wife and three children.

In 1915, he went to Manchester and enlisted in the fifth of the Manchester "Pals" Battalions that had been formed the previous autumn. For the first six months of their time in France, George and his comrades will have spent their time alternating between time in the trenches and periods, in reserve, engaged in road building and the movement of stores. The Battalion would have had casualties, but 1st July would be their first time in a major action. It would become known as the First Day of the Battle of the Somme.

George is one of comparatively few members of the Battalion who have a known grave. The cemetery in which he is buried overlooks the battlefield. Looking out over the peaceful countryside today, it is hard to imagine what it was like in 1916.

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