Son of Mr. Walter Bayley and Mrs. Elizabeth Bayley, of 17, Milk Street, Congleton, Cheshire and husband of Mrs, Mary Elizabeth Bayley, (nee Copestick), of 67, Brook Street, Congleton, Cheshire. They were married at St Stephens Church, Congleton, Cheshire, in 1917. In 1911, he resided with a Mr. James Laithwood and his wife, at Alcumlow Hall Farm, Newbold, Astbury, Cheshire, where he was employed as a Servant on Farm / Labourer. He had four sisters, Alice, Emily, Mary Jane and Blanche Bayley, along with two brothers, Walter and Peter Bayley. He was the brother in law of Private Arthur Copestick who died of wounds on the 5th of April 1918.
Private Bayley was mobilized with the 1/ 7th Cheshire Regiment in August 1914. He was stationed on the East Coast during the first air raids, being afterwards drafted out to France with the 2/ 8th Royal Warwickshire Regiment and was wounded while serving with that regiment. He was transferred to the Cheshire Regiment and left for France again in the first week of December 1917 and had only been there a month when he met his death. Private Ernest Bayley served with the 13th Battalion, the Cheshire Regiment which was attached to the 74th Brigade, 25th Division. On the 7th of January 1918, they were situated in the trenches near the Village of Moeuvres, approximately 10 kilometres west of the French town of Cambrai. Number and "4" Companies were in the front line, respectively on the right and left. Number "1" Company was a little way behind, in reserve. On this Monday, the very cold weather of the previous days had improved and there started to be a thaw during the day, but it re-froze in the evening. Although this was a quiet time with no major battles undertaken, there was still work to be done. The men were kept busy repairing the trenches. As soon as it became dark, parties were sent out into No Man's Land to repair the barbed wire. The Battalion War Diary records that, at about 18:30 hours, the enemy artillery became very active. It is most likely that Private Ernest Bayley was seriously wounded during this attack and was admitted to the No 3 Casualty Clearing Station at Grevillers, Pas de Calais, where he later died, possibly the result of shrapnel from an artillery shell.
Extract from the Congleton Chronicle 1918.
News has been received by his wife of the death of Private Ernest Bayley of the 13th Battalion the Cheshire Regiment. Mrs. Bayley, has received the following letter from the Matron.
No 3, Casualty Clearing Station, B.E.F. 16th January 1918.
Dear, Mrs. Bayley,
I very much regret to say that your husband was admitted to the hospital this morning suffering from cerebral haemorrhage. He was very ill and unconscious. I am sorry to say he died at 15 00 hours. Everything possible was done for him and it will comfort you to know that he did not suffer. He will be buried tomorrow in the Military Cemetery near this hospital. Please accept my sincere sympathy in your trouble. Believe me, L. M. Gedge ( Matron ).
His officer, in writing of him says. He was liked and respected by all, a good soldier, worker and a keen sportsman. Private Bayley, has a younger brother serving in Palestine.
Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John and Christopher Pullen for this information on Ernest.