Bailey, Fred

Birth Date

1st December 1893





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”.





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 ?



David West

I have Fredericks medals & dogtags as well as his Memorial Plaque or "Death Penny" as it was known. Frederick is remembered on the 24th Field Ambulance plaque in the Cathedral, also in his local Church in Heavitree, on the War Memorial at Exmouth, and one other place in Exmouth that i can´t remember. He will always be remembered in our family, my Great Aunt visited Freds grave in 1926, my late Father visited the grave in 1956 and i plan to visit "before i shuffle off my mortal coil".

lest we forget.

David West

I know that Fred was born at 56 Sandford Rd, Newtown, Exeter. His Father, Robert Henry Bailey was at this time, a "Letter Carrier" (Postman), his Mother Annie Bailey was a Milliner (hatmaker) in Exeter. The family grew in size and moved to a larger house at 28 Mansfield Rd, the family moved again and found a house at 9 Priory Rd. At the time of the 1911 census the family was Robert Henry Bailey, born 1865... his wife Annie Bailey, born 1867 -  the children were Lucy born 1892, Frederick born 1894, Charles born 1898, Florence Winifred born 1901, Beatrice born 1905 & Vera born 1908. Robert Henry Bailey ended his carrier as an Inspector of Postmen in Exeter in 1925 and he was awarded a medal from the King for long service to the Post Office (which i also have in my colection)  Robert died in 1946, and Annie died in 1949 both passed in St Austell, Cornwall.

Jon Gibbes

Fred scored a lot of goals for Babbacombe 1912-1914, playing alongside Tommy Townsend who played for City after the war.

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

Paul Farley

Thank you Jon! 

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