Bailey, Fred

Birthplace

Exeter

Occupation

Half-Back

Biographical Text

Fred was just 22 when he was killed. The son of Mr and Mrs Bailey from Priory Road, Exeter. 

He worked for the Post Office in Exmouth and was an amateur player for Exeter City – turning out for the Reserves.

He joined the 24th Field Ambulance Regiment of the Royal Army Medical Corps and had the difficult task of collecting the wounded from the front. In October 1914 he was working in a field hospital and the captain of City Reserves George White was brought in injured and died from his wounds.

Bailey himself was injured from gunshot wounds in 1915 and returned home. While here he played his last match at St James Park – when City played the combined Batteries in aid of war funds on 27 December 1915.

Bailey recovered and returned to the front and even wrote home saying “We get a game of football in and out but in spite of the hard work I am getting, like most of the others, a little fat”.

On the first day of the Somme he was killed by a shell “while helping to convey a wounded man along a trench”.

Exeter City lost a footballer. But the world of Athletics also lost a really promising athlete. Bailey ran for the Exeter Harriers and was a member of the Exmouth Harriers. The Western Times obituary said "It was as a highly successful sprint runner that he will probably be remembered. His last triumphs were at the North Tawton sports just before war broke out, and it is possible Bailey would have developed into the finest half miler whom Devon has ever turned out, for that distance seemed his true forte”.

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Comments

David West:

Hi, Fred Bailey was my Great Uncle. Fred was born in 1894. You mention that he played for Exeter in 1904/5 - Fred would only have been 10-11 years old ? Are you sure about the year(s) he played for the club ?

Thanks,

David

Paul Farley:

Thank you David, I was in error and we have changed the entry, do you have any other information about Fred. There is a plaque with all those killed in action in our memorial garden at the club

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