Robert Prior Bailey

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Robert Prior Bailey
Personal Information
Date of Birth 1886
Place of Birth Paramatta, New South Wales
Death 8 Aug 1918
Place of Death Battle of the Somme - Amiens
Age at Enlistment 31 years, 6 months
Description 5' 8½" (1.74m) tall ; 172 lbs
78.018 kg
; fresh complexion ; grey eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Sawyer
Religion Church of Endland
Address Anstey Road, Forrestdale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Henry Prior Bailey
Military Information
Reg Number 6722
Date of Enlistment 8 Mar 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, 22nd Reinforcement / 4th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 9 Nov 1916 ‒ 10 Jan 1917
Ship Embarked On HMAT A8 Argyllshire
Fate Wounded in Action 5 Aug 1917 at Messines in Belgium
Killed in Action 8 Aug 1918 (3rd Battle of the Somme - Amiens)
Monument Armadale War Memorial (West Armadale panel)
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
WA State War Memorial
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

War Service

He was one of 13 men from reinforcement drafts on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire who had links to the Armadale-Kelmscott district. The others being: Arthur Thomas Orton MM (12th Battalion); George Henry Aspinall, and Isaac Robert Powell (16th Battalion); William Wilfred Gerald Liddington (28th Battalion); William Bingham, Robert Frank Bickford, Robert Hastings Joyce, Beverley Loxton Bennett and Norman Leslie Skewes (44th Battalion); Albert Nock (48th Battalion); Hubert Maitland Armstrong MM and Charles Leonard Lockhart (51st Battalion).

After four months training with the 4th Training Battalion at Codford, he proceeded to France via Folkstone, arriving in Étaples on 4 May 1917, and joined the 16th Battalion three days later near Ribemont, France. On 5 Aug 1917 he received a bayonet wound to his back while his company was in the front lines in front of Messines. We might assume that it was caused during a clash between two opposing patrols as the Unit War Diary doesn't record an attack by either side on that day. He was treated by the 4th Field Ambulance before being sent to the 9th General Hospital in Rouen.

Following treatment he rejoined the battalion on 1 Oct 1917 near Steenvorde where they were training. Illness (fever) struck, and he was away from the battalion again from 23 Nov 1917 until 18 Jan 1918, and was granted two weeks leave soon after. On 8 Aug 1918 he was with his battalion, advancing as part of the major offensive by Australian units along the Somme, and was killed near Mericourt-sur-Somme. While the battalion suffered only light casualties, he was one of four men to lose their life from this action.

  • Villers Bretonneux Memorial. L Reynolds 2015 photo
  • Original Memorial Park tree plaque. Tree planted by Estelle Lockhard
  • Section of 16th Battalion panel L Reynolds 2015 photo

There is no known grave for Robert so he is listed on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial - Son of Henry Prior Bailey and Ellen Bailey, of Forrestdale, Western Australia. Born in Parramatta.

Mr. and Mrs. H. Bailey, of Forrestdale, have been notified that their son, Private Robert Prior, was killed in action in France, on August 8.[1] This was confirmed publicly late in September with the publication of Casualty List 430.


The 430th casualty List was released last night, and is published hereunder. It contains the names of Western Australian soldiers, together with those of soldiers who enlisted elsewhere, but whose relatives reside in this State. Where not otherwise stated, the names are those of privates: KILLED IN ACTION. .. Bailey, Robt. Prior (Jandakot), previously reported wounded.[2]

An In Memoriam notice inserted by his family refers also to his mates Jock Edmonds and Harry Geyer, both from the 22nd reinforcement draft to 16th Battalion.[3]. Geyer Died of Wounds in the same battle as Robert.

Mentioned in the Feb-Mar 1917 edition of the Drill of the Foot-Hills, but no detail.

No record of marriage or children.


  1. "WAR CASUALTIES.". The West Australian. XXXIV, (5,123). Western Australia. 5 September 1918. p. 7. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. "WESTERN AUSTRALIA.". The West Australian. XXXIV, (5,141). Western Australia. 26 September 1918. p. 5. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. "Family Notices". The West Australian. XXXVIII, (6,334). Western Australia. 8 August 1922. p. 1. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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