Harry BAILEY
Rank: Lance Corporal
Number: 50076
Unit: 9th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 30 December 1917
Age: 26
Cemetery: Ribecourt British Cemetery, Nord, France

Harry was born in Stockport, the son of Thomas Bailey. Nothing else is known of his private life.

His original service numbers, 1061 and 3239, indicate service early in the war with one of the Territorial Battalions of the Cheshire Regiment. It is possible to use the numbers to speculate about this service. 1061 is a very early number and, almost certainly, indicates he was a pre-war member of the Territorials and would have been mobilised when war was declared. This will have been the local 6th Battalion and an account of its early months of service is here. Many of these men were quickly discharged as being unfit for front line duty and were returned home.

His second number, 3239, was issued in late 1915 and it is recorded in Regimental records that Harry enlisted at Chester. This might suggest that he joined up again enlisting in a different place into a different Battalion. He probably went overseas again in the summer of 1916 as part of a draft of new recruits replacing casualties from the early days of the Battle of the Somme. It is likely that he was re-assigned to the 9th Battalion shortly after arrival in France and was assigned the above five-digit service number.

The area around Ribecourt had been captured during the battle of Cambrai on 20 November 1917 but was still very much a frontline area. Fighting was still going on, but the Cheshires had not been required to go into action. On 30 December, the Germans shelled the Cheshires’ positions. Harry was one of four men to be killed. Another seven were wounded.

   
           
   
     
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