|Carte de Visite
G. Du Pre - Photographer
16 October 1887
Waiting tables for a living prior to joining the colours, Thomas Wace Bailey of Camberwell, Surrey attested with the Royal Artillery on 18 April, 1879. His stated age of just over 18
years at the time would place his birthday sometime around March 1861 although other records including his marriage certificate and death certificate give his year as 1864. He may
have been underage at the time of his enlistment. His parents were Thomas Parnell Bailey and Fanny Wace Philo.
He was initially assigned regimental number 4874 but this was struck through soon after and a new number – 9382 – was given to him. The binding of his service papers prevents
identifying to which brigade or battery he was posted with but his promotions seem to have been as follows:
Gunner: 14 April 1879 – 7 June 1883
Acting Bombardier: 8 June 1883 – 8 July 1884
Bombardier: 9 July 1884 -21 September 1886
Corporal: 22 September 1886 – 12 March 1889
Reengaged: 13 March 1889
Corporal: 13 March 1889 – 22 November 1889
Sergeant: 23 November 1889
Battery Sergeant Major: 1 April 1895
Discharged at his own request after 18 years of service on 24 August 1897.
Bailey would see no active service in the field during his turn with the colours, although he did do two tours of duty in India with the first being between 7 December 1880 and 18
November 1890. After a yearlong return home he returned to India, remaining there from 11 November 1891 until 14 May 1894.
While on leave in 1889, Bailey married Miss Agnes Anna Land on 25 September at Holy Trinity Church in Lambeth. . The couple would have two daughters in India, Agness Edith born
on 26 July 1890 and Dorothy Francis born on 21 January 1892. The couple would have one additional child, a son, Thomas born at Woolwich in 1896 after returning home from India.
After his discharge Thomas Bailey remained employed by the army as a civilian barrack warden in Lancaster. Although no date of issuance is given, Bailey’s service papers state that
he was entitled to the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal.
With the advent of the Anglo-Boer War Bailey reatested with one of the Royal Reserve Regiments for the prescribed one year of service and receiving the handsome £22 enlistment
bounty. Undoubtedly based on his previous service, Bailey was posted to the Royal Artillery as a quarter master sergeant on 17 March 1900. His enlistment terminated at Woolwich on
16 March 1901.
While I have found no evidence of Bailey serving during the Great War, this does not preclude him from having done so. He would have been in his early 50s at the outbreak of the war
Thomas Wace Bailey lived a long life, passing away at Croydon at the age of 87 on 18 June 1951.
|Above: Inscribed to Albert, the reverse side of the carte de visite identifies the sitter by full name, branch of service as well as the date inscribed.