BAILEY, Gerald Deighton
(Service number )
|Aliases||Also spelt Dighton; maybe known as Dighton|
|First Rank||Lieutenant||Last Rank||Captain|
|Date||8 April 1890||Place of Birth||Timaru|
|Address at Enlistment|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin|
|Served with||UK Armed Forces||Served in|
|Body on Embarkation||The Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians)|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
|Campaigns||France; Salonika; Egypt|
|Service Medals||1914-1915 Star; Victory Medal; British War Medal|
|Military Awards||Military Cross|
Award Circumstances and Date
Captain G. D. Bailey, Military Cross, 1st Battalion, Leinster Regiment - "For conspicuous gallantry and determined leadership during a raid on Ghurabeh Ridge, Egypt, on the night of August 12-13, 1918. “He commanded his company with great skill and coolness under heavy fire. On another company being thrown into disorder he reformed it, and enabled operations to be continued according to plan. He led his company through four successive assaults, capturing three machine-guns and sixty prisoners.” London Gazette, 1 February 1919
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
Hotel proprietor (1939)
|Date||10 February 1978||Age||87 years|
|Place of Death||Castleconnell|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Stradbally Graveyard, County Limeriack, Ireland|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Gerald Deighton (Dighton) Bailey was the elder son of Christopher Samuel Bailey (born 1841, Queen's County, Ireland) and his second wife, Edith Vernon née Pearson. He was educated at Waimataitai School and Timaru Boys' High School. Gerald's father pursued a military career, serving in the Devonshire Regiment from 1859 till 1870. For many years he was commander of the South Canterbury Volunteers. In 1888 he was appointed a trustee of the Timaru Drill-shed. He had married firstly Charlotte Wilhelmina Bushe (Minnie) in 1866 at Madras, India. They had nine children, the youngest born in 1883 after their arrival in New Zealand. Minnie Bailey died in 1885 and is buried at Esk Valley, as is her youngest daughter in 1968. Their son Geoffrey – half-brother of Gerald and Lancelot – resigned his commission as Lieutenant with the Timaru City Rifles in September 1901. He had served in the South African War and had gone to England for his health. By 1902 it was expected that he could rejoin his battalion in South Africa. Geoffrey was numbered among the Civilian War Dead in London in World War II. Harold Desmond Bailey, another half-brother, also served in the South African War. Thomas Alfred Bushe Bailey served with the Timaru Rifles before being appointed a magistrate of the Dominion in 1909. The eldest son, Arthur Wellesley Bailey, of the Bengal Infantry, was killed in a night attack in India in 1897. A memorial tablet was unveiled at St Mary’s. He too had been a lieutenant with the Timaru Rifles.
In March 1911 Gerald Bailey left his employment at Dalgety and Co in Timaru to engage in the military profession. He was presented with a handsome bag and a pair of military brushes. Late in the 1912 he was promoted to Lieutenant. He gained an excellent result in the entrance examination for the army, being ranked first on the whole list of New Zealanders, Australians and Canadians. He left in mid February 1913 to take up a commission with the 1st Leinster Regiment in India, after being entertained at a farewell social. Gerald Dighton Bailey served with the Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians). On the outbreak of war he went from India to England to undergo an operation for appendicitis. Joining his regiment at Cork, he went to the front in May 1915. His brother Lancelot, who was on a rubber estate in Malaya, went to England and obtained a commission on the 8th York and Lancaster Regiment, and went into training. And his half-brother Herbert, who was by this time practising dentistry in London, joined the city of London Police Reserve. Meanwhile their father, Colonel C. S. Bailey, had returned to England with his wife and they were visiting relatives in Ireland.
Lieutenant Gerald Bailey was promoted to captain, effective from the end of May 1915. In 1919, when he had given 3½ years of active service in France, Salonika, and Egypt – and without a day’s illness - he was awarded the Military Cross. “Captain G. D. Bailey, Military Cross, 1st Battalion, Leinster Regiment, for conspicuous gallantry and determined leadership during a raid on Ghurabeh Ridge, Egypt, on the night of August 12-13, 1918. “He commanded his company with great skill and coolness under heavy fire. On another company being thrown into disorder he reformed it, and enabled operations to be continued according to plan. He led his company through four successive assaults, capturing three machine-guns and sixty prisoners.” The investiture for Captain Gerald D. Bailey, the recipient of the Military Cross, was held at St James’s Palace in December 1919.
In 1939 Gerald Bailey and his wife Catherine, whom he had married in 1930 at Rathdown, Ireland, were living at Wareham and Purbeck, Dorset, where he was a hotel proprietor. He died on 10 february 1978 at Castleconnel, Ireland, and is buried at Stradbally, County Limerick. His wife, Catherine Elizabeth, is buried with him; she died on 26 December 1996, aged 100 years. Gerald's father had served with the military. His brother Lancelot Dermot Bailey, also joined the Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians). Lancelot died on 28 November 1962 at Cheltenham, England. Probate of his estate was granted to Gerald.
Timaru Herald, 27 March 1911, 14 December 1912, 25 & 28 January 191, 4 April 1919, Press, 11 October 1913, 22 May 1914, 22 May 1915, 11 October 1915, 2 April 1919, Otago Daily Times, 13 June 1914, 30 December 1919 (Papers Past) [07 March 2019]; School Admission record (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [07 March 2019];; Headstone image & transcription ((https://historic graves.com) [07 March 2019]; 1939 England & Wales Register (ancestry.com.au) [07 March 2019]; Ireland, Civil Registration Marriages Index [07 March 2019]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [07 March 2019]
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