No.12320, Private, Frederick Arthur BAILEY
7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Frederick Arthur Bailey was born in Great Thurlow (Risbridge Q2-1894 4A:691), baptised on 24th June 1894 at All Saints, Gt Thurlow, son of Walter and Mary
Emma BAILEY (née COOTE).
1901 census...Aged 7, he was at his grandfather's house on Withersfield Road, Great Thurlow. Widower grandfather George COOTE  farm labourer born Stradishall, father Walter BAILEY  groom; mother Mary Emma ; brother Ernest  and cousin Ada COOTE . All except his grandfather were born in Great Thurlow.
1911 census...Aged 16, a farm hand, he was at Great Thurlow (near the church) with his parents and sister Elsie Irene  born Higham.
The pension card (1919) has his parents at Bridge Cottage, Great Thurlow
He enlisted in Haverhill.|
From Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment" and the battalion war diary we learn:-
The 7th Suffolks missed the slaughter of the 1st day of the Somme, 1st July, being in Reserve and later moving up to the support trenches. Arriving in the support trenches at 38.30 am am they spent the day there and prepared to attack Ovillers at 3:15am on 3rd.
The War Diary :-
At 3:15 am the Battalion made a frontal attack on Ovillers on a frontage of 200 yards; the disposition of the Battalion was as follows:-"D" Coy on the right, "C" Coy on left, supported by "B" Coy on the right, "A" Coy on the left. On the right of the Battalion was the 5th Royal Berks and on the left the 37th Brigade, the 36th Brigade being in reserve. Two companies of the Essex Reg were in support to each Battalion, the Norfolks being in reserve.
Zero was at 3:15 am, ten minutes before zero the leading waves advanced under cover of the bombardment and at the hour of zero the Battalion assaulted in eight successive wave. The first 4 waves (D & C Coys) penetrated the the enemy's third line and portions of them into the village itself, but owing to the darkness touch was lost with succeeding waves and with the 5th Royal Berks on the right, so that the leading waves were not supported closely enough, thus allowing the Germans to get in between the waves and cut off the leading ones at the 3rd line if resistance, it was at the 3rd German line that the chief casualties occurred and the assault was brought to a standstill. The two companies of the Essex Regt moving up in support were too far behind and were practically annihilated by machine gun fire during their advance across the open. The casualties in the Battalion were 21 officers and 458 O.R. killed, wounded and missing, though some of these missing eventually regained the Battalion during the following night.
CWGC records show 155 of the Battalion killed, of which 110 have no known grave.
click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details