Harold George Bailey

Known to his family as Harry, he embarked on the RMS Turakina at London in January 1906 aged 21. He travelled as a saloon passenger and his occupation was a clerk. On 7th August 1907 he died at Wellington hospital and was buried in the Public2 section at Karori Cemetery on 8th August. The service was officiated by G. Kay, the cemetery Sexton. There was no funeral notice.

Because his time in New Zealand was so short, we can find no other record of his life in Wellington.

His parents were George Henry and Susannah Sarah Bailey (nee Davis) who were both Londoners. George started his career as a builder’s clerk and by 1900 he was an assistant architect. Harry’s siblings were Marguerite Katherine, Mabel Beatrice and Wilfred Edward. By 1911, Harry’s parents were living in Shropshire where his father had a job as a building surveyor. His three siblings were living together in London where Marguerite working as a telegraphist and Mabel as assistant head of telephones. Wilfred was a mercantile clerk for a colonial broker.

Marguerite married in 1918 to Arthur Deeks. Mabel died in 1962 unmarried. In 1939 Wilfred was a single man living with Marguerite and her husband in Hailsham. We are uncertain if there are any descendants of the siblings.

And we can find no evidence that any of them visited New Zealand and so the headstone must have been ordered through correspondence.

At our Tuesday working bee this week, we ‘re-uncovered’ his headstone. It was visible in 2022 when a photograph was added to the FindaGrave website. You can see from the photo the amount of growth that has sprung up in the past two years and this week’s bee bought it into daylight again.

The unusual and striking design of the headstone takes the form of a Celtic cross (which is identified by the ring) combined with a form of a cross botany where each arm terminates in a trefoil. A trefoil is a term from Gothic architecture to describe the three lobed leaf shape symbolic of the Trinity. In this example, the trefoil on each arm is comprised of three further trefoils. It is very beautifully done. The cross botany was used in heraldry.

The headstone is hard to decipher due to the style of the inscription. If you think you can help, please comment below:




AUGUST 7 1907


-last line indistinguishable-

Plot: *Public 2/M/39

By Julia Kennedy

Bailey plot
Bailey plot

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