Bayly, Vere Talbot (1896-1916)
Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who died in the First World War, 1914-1918.
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Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.
Details: Vere Talbot Bayly (1896-1916), born 22 May 1896, son of the late Langton G. Bayly, and Isabel H.J. Bayly of Oaklands, Lansdown, Bath, formerly of Burleigh Cottage, Burnham, Somerset.
Attended Upcott House, Okehampton, Devon.
Attended Sherborne School (Harper House) September 1910-July 1912; scholar.
WW1, 2nd Lieutenant in the Dorsetshire Regiment, 7th (S.) Bn. Killed near Albert on 7/8 May 1916.
Authuile Military Cemetery, A.13 www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/598732/BAYLY,%20VERE%...
Sherborne School: War Memorial Staircase; Book of Remembrance; Harper House roll of honour.
'The History of the Dorsetshire Regiment 1914 to 1919' records events on 7/8 May 1916 as follows:
"At 23:00 hrs on the night of the 7/8 May 1916 the enemy opened a heavy bombardment on the Thiepval sub sector which soon became intense. C & D Companies were in the front line, Battalion Headquarters found all telephone lines cut except to C Company communication was therefore extremely slow. 23:30 hrs 3 German parties containing about 35 in each left their lines and attacked on our left ( D Company) , One German party was driven back by fire from C Company but the other two parties entered what remained of D Company. Major Shute says the whole of that portion of the line occupied by D Company was practically demolished by trench mortar bombs and artillery fire before the enemy raided. The Germans eventually retired to their lines leaving in our hands one prisoner and one of their dead. Casualties had been heavy. One officer killed [Bayly] and one wounded. 12 O/R's Killed, 30 wounded. 24 O/R's missing."
Another account in the diary of the 109th Brigade Machine Gun Company (MGC) states that on the night of the 7th/8th May a MGC Corporal called William Millar was the NCO in charge of the Vickers Gun adjacent to Bayly's company at a point known as Hammerhead Sap which had originally been part of the grounds of what had been Thiepval Chateau. When the German raiding parties attacked, Millar [before transferring to the MGC on promotion to Corporal, William Millar had been a member of the 9th Inniskilling Fusiliers who were 109th Brigade reserve that night and were making their way through Thiepval Wood to assist the Dorsets] was taken prisoner along with Bayly and led out of the British lines into No Man’s Land along with a large number of Dorsetshire prisoners. Bayly and Millar decided that they would not be taken prisoner and, unarmed, set upon their captors. A struggle ensued and, in the confusion that followed a large number of those taken prisoner managed to make a run for it back to their own lines. Lt. Bayly and Corporal Millar were bayoneted to death by the German raiding party, their bodies left outside the British wire where they fell.
Both Millar and Bayly are buried In the Authuile Military Cemetery: Millar is buried with his fellow Ulstermen at the end of a row of men from the 14th Royal Irish Rifles, and Bayly is buried alongside a mass grave of his colleagues from the 1st Dorsetshire Regiment. Both Millar and Bayly are buried in separate individual graves, indicating that their bodies may have been recovered after the original Dorset 8th May mass burial, for those killed in the trenches that night.