Bailie, William Robert
No. 1484268, 5 Battery, 2 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
Killed in action on Saturday 20 June 1942 (aged 31)
Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya (Grave 1. D. 16)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
William Robert Bailie was born on 8 July 1910 in Market Street, Newtownards and he was a son of Robert Bailie (alias Patterson) and Martha Bailie (nee Graham) of 169 Greenwell Street, Newtownards. Robert Bailie (aged 20) worked as a fowl plucker and he and Martha Graham (aged 21) were married on 18 January 1909 in First Donaghadee Presbyterian Church. William Robert Bailie and his brother Thomas, who was born in Greenwell Street, Newtownards on 13 January 1913, were baptised in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church, Newtownards.
William Robert Bailie enlisted shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War. He served with the Royal Artillery and was reported missing in action after the fall of Tobruk. Later it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action near Tobruk port. His aunt Annie and Eileen who lived at 50 Talbot Street, Newtownards placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the 19 June 1943 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle, as did his father, mother, brother and sister-in-law. Their notice contained the verse:
May the heavenly winds blow softly
O’er that sweet and hallowed spot;
Though the seas divide us from your grave,
You will never be forgot.
His aunt’s notice contained the verse:
Forget thee? No, we never will,
We loved you here, and love you still;
You parted with a world of pain,
You only died to live again.
In 1944 the following verses accompanied the Our Heroes – In Memoriam notices:
Just a thought, true and tender,
To show we still remember.
A soldier’s grave in an unknown land,
Holds one we loved so dear,
A smiling face that won’t come home
When they sound the last ‘All Clear’.
Gunner William Robert Bailie (No. 1484268) was 31 when he was killed and, when his body was recovered, he was buried in Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya. He is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.