Albert Edward Bailey

Date of birth: 30th November 1896
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: Not known
Rank: Steward
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Battalion / Ship: RMSP Andes (later HMS Andes)
Died: 22nd September 1914 aged 17 years
Death location: Northern Hospital, Liverpool


Life before the War
Albert was born on Monday 30th November 1896 into the family of Henry William Bailey (b.1858 in Chichester, England) and his second wife Elizabeth (b. circa 1870 in Cape Town, SA).  They married in 1885 in South Africa.

Albert’s father was a Steward in South Africa after the first Boer War, during the Diamond rush at Kimberley and the Gold rush at Witwatersrand, Transvaal (now known as Johannesburg).  The family resettled in Southampton in the early 1890s and lived at the following addresses:

1895   46 St Mary’s Road
1895    7 Guildhall Terrace, Millbank Street
1900    17 George Street, Northam
1908    157 Radcliffe Road

Albert was christened at St Augustine’s of Canterbury Church, Northam Road, Southampton on the 7th January 1897 and grew up in the comfort of a sizeable family in the Northam area.

From his first marriage Henry had two children: Catherine Jane b.1879 in Southampton and George Henry b.1881 and who died in the same year.  Henry and Elizabeth had 8 children, Albert’s siblings were:

Emily Elizabeth b.1886 Liddle Street, Cape Town, South Africa
Married Isaac Cooper – Policeman
xxxx xxxx
George Henry b.1888 Imhof Battery, Cape Town, South Africa.
Married Agnes Lillian Charrett
xxxx xxxx
Edith Lillian b.1890 Imhof Battery, Cape Town, South Africa.
xxxx xxxx
William James Percival b.1891 The Castle, Cape Town, South Africa
Married Hilda Jessie Weyman who, following Percy’s death, married Sydney Albert Snelgrove Cable.
xxxx xxxx
Mabel Florence b.1893 Southampton.
Married William T H Hunt
xxxx xxxx
Charles Wesley Patterson b.1895 Southampton
Married Rose Maud Murray
xxxx xxxx
Frederick Reginald b.1900 Southampton
Married Ida May Leatherdale


Education was compulsory until the age of ten.  On the 1911 census Albert is shown to be a Telegraph Messenger.  This would have been a responsible, uniformed position delivering messages by bicycle in almost military fashion.  Pirelli were already a well established local company manufacturing telegraph cables transported overseas through the docks.  Marconi was about to bring new innovation to the industry.

War Service
When World War One broke out in 1914 Albert was quick to sign up at the age of 17.  It looked as though he would follow in his father’s footsteps as a Steward.  In September 1914 the Royal Navy sent him to Liverpool where he joined the RMSP Andes.

Albert’s knowledge of this local ship may well have influenced his posting.  The Andes was a Royal Mail Line ship completed in 1913 by the Harland & Wolff company in Belfast.  It was a coal fired vessel carrying about 1,300 passengers of various classes.  It operated mainly between Southampton and Rio de la Plata (now known as Buenos Aires).  The ship had many refrigerated areas that imported Argentinian beef for the British market.

For the first seven months of the war the Andes continued its trade run but with the Royal Navy offering an element of protection.  However, Albert would not have had time to make a trans-Atlantic crossing.  The Andes arrived in Liverpool on Saturday 19 September 1914.  Albert would have been engaged in unloading the ship’s cargo and preparing the ship for its next voyage.  Unfortunately Albert contracted typhoid (a form of salmonella poisoning) and died at the Northern Hospital, Liverpool on Tuesday 22 September 1914.  News of Albert’s death swiftly reached home.  Three days later he was laid to rest at Southampton Old Cemetery, Grave 269 in Section A156.  His Death Notice was recorded in the ‘Southampton Times and Hampshire Express’ on Saturday 26 September 1914.  By this time Albert’s father was in his late 50s and was not in the best of health.  Henry William was to enter the St Mary’s Workhouse the following year and die little more than a year to the day after his son.  He shares Albert’s grave.  Albert’s mother went on to remarry and was interred with them in July 1932.

In 1915 the Admiralty took over the Andes and converted it into an armed merchant cruiser for the 10th Cruiser Squadron to patrol the waters up to Iceland and guide inappropriate vessels into Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands thereby earning the title HMS Andes.

Albert’s older brother William James Percival (Percy) also lost his life in the Great War.  His story is currently being researched and will soon feature on this website.

Albert’s younger brother Frederick Reginald became a 1st Aircraftsman with the Royal Flying Corps (later RAF) in 1917.  He is said to have provided a high degree of technical skill in Egypt where flight training took place.  He survived the war and was demobilsed in 1919.  He was awarded the General Service and Victory Medals.  He died in Southampton in 1983.

Researcher: Robert Whale
Published.: 14th June 2014
Updated: Insert dates here

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