No. 15911, Private, Alec BAILEY
Aged 22

Suffolk Regiment, 11th Battalion.
Killed in Action on Saturday, 24th March 1917

Born in Lakenheath, registered Mildenhall Q2-1895 [4A:810], baptised 5th May 1895 in Lakenheath.

1901 census...Aged 6, he was living at Cemetery Road, Lakenheath with his father- William BAILEY [45] a bricklayer, born Lakenheath; mother- Sabina (née MATHEWS)[41] born Lakenheath; brother- Frederic [19] a bricklayers labourer, born Lakenheath; brother- Arthur [15] bricklayers labourer, born Lakenheath; sister- Louise [12] born Lakenheath; brother- George [8] born Lakenheath; brother- Sydney [3] born Lakenheath.

1911 census...Aged 16, a farm labourer, living in Wings Road, Lakenheath with his father, mother, brothers Frederic, George and Sidney and sister Louisa and two new siblings, brother Edward [9] and sister Sabina [7] both born in Lakenheath.

They were at the same address on the pension card.

In March 1917 the 11th Suffolks were in position south of Roclincourt ( a short distance NE of Arras), on the right of the sector held by the 34th Division, 17th Corps. They spent their time distributing stores, carrying ammunition and raiding and wire-cutting in preparation for the Arras offensive. The 11th battalion lost four men on the 24th March, all four buried close to each other in Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras.

The Bury Free Press of 14th April 1917 reported:-

fter a lapse of some weeks the sad news was received that another Lakenheath lad had fallen in battle.Letters were received by M r.and Mrs. William Bailey, Wings Road, Lakenheath, informing them that their fifth son, Private Alec Bailey,11th Suffolk Regiment, was killed in battle. He was one of the first Boy Scouts at Lakenheath and was formerly a member of St.Mary's Church.He was 22 years of age. Prvt.D.C.Ashman, a Lakenheath man, wrote:"I am very sorry to inform you that your son Alec was killed instantly on 24th march. We had not been in the trenches only a few hours when it happened, but he and two of his comrades had passed away.
Lance-Corpl.F.W.Levitt, of the same regiment, also writes :"It is with my deepest sympathy and regret that I write to inform you of the death of your son Alec, who was my chum.He was killed by a shell in the first line, and I can honestly assure you his death was instantaneous, and he could not have suffered any pain, because there was assistance at hand at once, and he had passed away......

Alec BAILEY is buried in Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras, grave 3:J:29

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details