Alan John Bailey MC

Son of Harpenden dentist John James Bailey

Second Lieut. A. J. Bailey – unknown newspaper item Dec. 1918




Alan, the son of John James Bailey, Harpenden and St Albans dentist, and his wife Emma (nee Unwin), was born  in Finchley in 1893. In 1901 he is living at his grandparents with his parents, in Woking and by 1911 he was a scholar at Bishop’s Stortford College and his parents were in Harpenden.





Military career

The photo on the front of the postcard Allen sent to his parents in Harpenden in 1913; Alan third from the right, on OTC training at Ilkley. Credit: J. Langham

He signed on in November 1914 and his military history is given in  newspaper (unknown) articles etc., transcribed below:

1. Dated December 1918

The Hertfordshires



An announcement that will be received with feeling of delight is that the Hertfordshire Regiment, which has been at the front since November, 1914, is to march into Germany flying the regimental colours which were deposited at Hertford Church before they left for France.  Second Lieut, A.J.Bailey, only son of Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Bailey, of St Albans and Harpenden, and Lieut. Stubbing have been entrusted with the honourable mission of crossing to England to escort the colours to the regiment and the ceremony of handing them over will take place in Hertford Church on Sunday afternoon next.

Second Lieut. Bailey joined the Army in November 1914, and the day on which the Armistice was signed he had seen exactly four years’ service.  He was first of all attached to the London Machine Gun Brigade and became a driver in the A.S.C. Motor Transport.

(lost) ……teers to take up commissions he offered himself, and after undergoing the usual course was gazetted to the Bedfordshire Regiment last year.  When the Hertfordshire Regiment lost heavily in the intense fighting of March last he and other officers of the Bedfordshires were transferred to the Hertfordshires.

It is expected that the Hertfordshire Regiment will march to one of he bridgeheads on the Rhine.

2. Dated 5.6.1919

KING HONOURS LOCAL OFFICE – [Lieu]tenant Alan J. Bailey, Hertfordshire Regt., who was awarded the Military Cross a few months ago, received that distinction at the hands [of His] Majesty King George in the qua[drangle] at Buckingham Palace on Saturday. Lieut. Bailey is the only son of Mr. J.J. Bailey, L.D.S.  Mr and Mrs. Bailey accompanied their gallant son to Buckingham Palace for the ceremony

Alan with the his family at Buckingham Palace after receiving the MC

3. The letter with the MC citation


Post War

4. Another article included the information that he was demobilised in December 1918 and returned home to resume his engineering training.

5. The University of London O.T.C. Roll of War Service:

Bailey, Lt .Alan John, Bedf & Herts. R,: Univ. Coll  F. June 15 to Jan. 17 and Aug 17 to Dec.18 : MC

Did he do an engineering degree at UCL?

He is recorded as a student in the I(nstitute of?) Electrical Engineering membership list 1919-1923 (living?) at ‘Chilworth’, Harpenden

6. Alan married Alison Mary Brown at Shardlow in 1926

7.  In the 1939 register they are recorded as living in Rugby and Alan is a GPO Inspector Engineering Dept.

8. Alan’s death was reported in a newspaper (DT – Daily Telegraph? cutting hand-dated 29.10.42)

BAILEY – On Oct. 26. 1942, after a brief illness, ALAN JOHN, beloved husband of Alison Mary, of 68 Ashlawn- rd., in his 50th year.  Funeral service at Congregational Church, Rugby [to]-morrow (Thursday) at 10.45 a.m. No mourning.

Thanks are due to John Langham (Alan’s grandson) for most of the information in this page.

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