Charles James Bayliss was born in Liverpool, England on 23 October 1886. He was one of at least eight children born to Joseph Bayliss, a labourer, and Mary Dunn. His father died when he was fourteen, leaving his mother with a large brood to raise alone.
For reasons that are unknown, Bayliss used the name “John Hayes” whilst working aboard several transatlantic voyages between 1908 and 1913, ships including Carmania, Ivernia and Franconia.
In April 1912 Bayliss was serving as extra third cook aboard the eastward-bound voyage of the Carpathia when that ship rescued the survivors of the Titanic.
In the following years Bayliss continued to work at sea and served in the merchant fleet during WWI. In January 1913 he married Agnes Barry (b. circa 1887) and they migrated to the USA shortly after and in June 1918 he declared his intentions of becoming a US citizen; by then he was known as John Hayes and was still working as a ship’s cook. His whereabouts following that are unknown.