Second World War - Lynsted Memorial Project

Edith Caroline BAILEY (of Lynsted)

b. 27th September 1897
d. 24th October 1944. Aged 47

Hartlip Churchyard
Killed by a V1 flying bomb

Edith was born on 27 September 1897 in South Ash. One of thirteen children of Richard, a shepherd and herdsman, and Emmeline Apps. Edith's elder siblings were Bertie Richard, Elizabeth Jane, Walter [Note 1, bottom of this page] and younger siblings Kate Amelia, Frederick George, Edward, Sidney Richard, Percy Thomas, George and Leonard John. Two further older siblings, William Thomas and Alice Emmeline died in infancy and predeceased Edith. Leonard would serve in the Lynsted Branch of the Home Guard in WW2.

The 1911 Census finds the family living at Quinton Cottages, Milton Regis. By 1918 they had moved to Banks Farm, Teynham.

Edith married William George Bailey (also known as William John Thomas Bailey) in Stockbury church on 16 August 1924. They had 3 children, William R, Beatrice A and Peter.

Edith was living with her family at Council Houses, Spade Lane, Hartlip. Her parents were then living and working at Lynsted Court.

On 24 October 1944 the lives of the Bailey children were devastated.

East Kent Gazette of 28th October 1944

PEOPLE KILLED - By Flying Bomb
The use of flying bombs over Southern England flared up early this week, but the casualties reported have been described as "not heavy". Still there has been loss of life.

Soon after midnight on the 24th inst. a flying bomb came in very low over one District in Southern England, and, still losing height when approaching the outskirts of the village, cut clean through the upper part of a tall elm tree and exploded against two cottages, demolishing both of them.

The nearest house to the tree was occupied by Mr. William Bailey and his wife, Edith, together with their three children. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey were killed instantly, but Betty, aged 14, and Peter, who were under the Morrison table shelter, were brought out of the ruins unhurt.

Upstairs in bed at the time was son, William Bailey, aged 19 years. This lad was blown clear of the house, but strangely enough, was little injured, except that his pyjama suit was torn clean from his body. He picked himself up and, clad only in a vest, went in search of assistance.

Mr. and Mrs. Deverson, who lived in the adjoining house, were also rescued from the ruins of their home suffering only minor injuries.

Those people who saw the incident are of the opinion that had the flying bomb just escaped the tree if would have proceeded another two or three hundred yards before hitting the ground, and in that case little damage would have resulted.

My Bailey, who was formerly in the employ of a farmer, has more recently been employed as a roadman by the local Rural District Council.

The following day the children of Hartlip School were told of the incident and informed that Peter, the youngest son, would no longer be attending the school as he would be moving to live with his Aunt in Rainham. Peter's school record states his reason for leaving as "Removed to Rainham CE (Enemy Action)".

Edith and William were buried in Hartlip Churchyard on 27 October 1944.

Shortly afterwards, an appeal was made for the Bailey children:

East Kent Gazette of 4th November 1944
Last week we reported the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. William Bailey, whose house in a Southern England village was shattered by a flying bomb. A fund has been opened to give aid to the orphaned children, Betty and Peter, and donations may be sent to the Vicar of the Parish.


East Kent Gazette of 30th December 1944
On Wednesday it was announced that the Bailey Children's Fund, opened to assist in the upbringing of Peter and Betty Bailey, whose parents were killed by a flying bomb, had reached a total of £179/5/0. The fund will be closed on December 31st.

The Trustees of the Fund met on December 20th, and resolved that each child shall be given a fixed amount every half-year until they reach the age of 18 years. The money is being invested in the Post Office Saving Bank.

William Bailey, the oldest child of Edith and William, who still lives in Hartlip, once gave a talk on his experiences. He said that his mother's last words were "it seems to be coming this way".

Morrison indoor Shelter

Note 1: Walter served in the First World War in the Royal West Kent Regiment. On 17 July 1917, while fighting at Arras, he received a gunshot wound to his face. The bullet entered through the tip of his nose and exited from behind his left eye. This caused several facial fractures, blindness in the left eye and an inability to open his mouth by more than 1 inch. On 5 March 1918 he was medically discharged from the army with what they measured as a 30% disability but fit for civilian work. Three weeks later, on 27 March 1918, Walter died of his wounds. He is buried at Bobbing.

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