• Christina Drummond

Captain Guy Horsman Bailey M.C., the Royal Horse Artillery

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Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Captain Guy Horsman Bailey M.C., the Royal Horse Artillery, was killed during enemy shelling on the Somme.

The son of a solicitor, he was educated at Malvern College in Worcestershire, and at Brasenose College, Oxford, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. At school he had been Head of House, on the shooting and football teams as well as an officer in the Cadet Corps. At University he rowed for his college and was sergeant-major of the university battery.

At the outbreak of the Great War he joined the 4th Battalion, East Anglian Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, and was commissioned in March of 1915. He took part in the amphibious landing at Gallipoli the following month, and was one of the last to embark at the final evacuation of Cape Helles. For his actions he was mentioned in despatches and awarded the Military Cross.

In August of 1915 Captain Bailey was transferred to the Royal Horse Artillery and a year later promoted to captain. While still a lieutenant, during the run-up to the Battle of the Somme he had taken command of a battery, the commanding officer of which had been seriously injured. On the day of his death, near Mirlancourt, his battery commenced before dawn with bombardment by artillery and assault by infantry, gaining sixty prisoners and suffering slight casualties – but at three o’clock in the afternoon an enemy shell fell, killing Captain Bailey and another officer outright.

From an article which appeared in his school magazine after his death: “By the death of Guy Bailey the Service has lost an Artillery officer of no small promise. As a boy he displayed and developed those qualities which marked his after-career—a strong sense of duty, courage, force of character and no fear of responsibility. A bold horseman, well known in the Heythrop country, with a real love for horses, he was in his element in the Horse Artillery. Many will mourn the loss of a loyal friend and true sportsman.” He is buried in the Guards Cemetery at Combles on the Somme.

Guy, from Chipping Norton, was 26 years of age.

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