Mr George Frank Bailey was born in Newport, Wales on 9 April 1866.
Although details about his early life are vague it appears that he was the son of James Bailey (b. 1839), a labourer, and his wife Annie(2) (b. 1838), although this is not certain. His father was a native of Monmouthshire whilst his mother was English, hailing from Gloucestershire. He had eight known siblings: Elizabeth (b. 1859), James (b. 1861), Mary (b. 1863), Alice Margaret (b. 1867), William (b. 1869), Louisa (b. 1871), Amy (b. 1873) and Ellen (b. 1876). The family appear on the 1871 census living at Clipper Court, St Mary, Monmouth and on the 1881 census at 2 Red Lion Court, Monmouth.
He was married in Hampshire to Eliza Martha Turnbull (b. 1864 in Gosport, Hampshire) in the latter half of 1886. Their son, George, had been born earlier that year. They would have a total of nine children but would lose two in infancy. Their known offspring were: George (b. 1886), Stephen Thomas (1887-1958), Eliza Alice (1889-1972, later Mrs Wilson George Bundy), Ellen Mabel (1892-1952, later Mrs Ernest Tilley), Sarah Ann (1896-1987, later Mrs George Terrill), Frank Alfred (b. 1902) and Frederick Joseph (1906-1971).
George and his family appear on the 1891 census living at Mill Lane in Alverstoke and he was described as a Private in the Royal Monmouthshire Militia. He joined the Royal Navy as a stoker on 16 May 1895, his first ship being Victory II; he went on to serve aboard a host of other ships, including Victory III, Porpoise, Australia, Revenge, Apollo, Firequeen II before winding up his naval career on 4 May 1905, again aboard Victory II. His conduct was generally good but he was shown to have spent a few short spells in detention for misconduct. Physically he stood at 5' 6" with light brown hair, brown eyes and a fresh complexion and sporting a number of tattoos.
George would be absent from the 1901 and 1911 censuses, indicating he was at sea at the time, but his family were shown living at 11 Elm Grove, Alverstoke and 74 Priory Road, Hardway, Gosport respectively.
When George signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his local address as 16 Brook Road, Woolston and his previous ship as the Wellbury. As a fireman he could expect to earn monthly wages of £6.
George Frank Bailey died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow Eliza was remarried in 1919 to Frederick William Churcher (1874-1941), a widower who worked as an ordnance labourer. The couple remained living in Gosport and Eliza died there in 1933. George's last known surviving child was his daughter Sarah Ann who died in Portsmouth in 1987 aged 91.
Bill Wormstedt, USA