Clive Cyril Anthony Bayley GC (EGM exchanger)

b. 17/10/1907 Nainital, Bengal, India. d. 30/06/1949 Lagos, Nigeria.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 22/04/1930 Jijiriabahtali, India.

Clive C A Bayley GC

Clive Cyril Anthony Bayley, G.C. (1907-1949) was born on 17 October 1907 in Naini-tal, Bengal, India, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Lytton Bayley, a cavalry officer in the Indian Army, and Helen Bayley (nee Williamson), a descendent of Lord Clive of India. He was also by paternal descent the grandson of Sir Steuart Bayley, Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, in whose honour a statue had been raised in Calcutta. Sent to England for his education with his brother Vernon, Clive attended Wellington College and then Blundell’s School in Devon, where he served as an R.A.F. Cadet (with a keen interest in flying) before returning to India to further the family’s distinguished reputation there. 

Leaving Liverpool for India on 27 September 1928, he chose to work for the Imperial Tea Company in Assam (now part of Bangladesh), as a Tea Garden Assistant 2nd Class. Settling into his new life, he was a resident of the Cachar Club, regularly played polo and volunteered early on as a Trooper with the Surma Valley Light Horse.

It was soon after that Trooper Bayley was recommended for the Empire Gallantry Medal for his actions during the violent uprising at Chittagong, Bengal, on 18-19 April, 1930. The events of this incident were covered widely in the press, locally and in England, and Bayley received a great many plaudits as the
‘Plucky Trooper’ who saved the day. For his brave role in quelling this uprising, Bayley was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal (or E.G.M.), with his award appearing in the London Gazette of 24 July 1931. Remaining in India, Bayley continued to work as a Tea Planter, latterly with McLeod, Russel & Co. for several years. In 1938 he undertook a flying expedition with a close friend in a De Havilland .83 Fox Moth, apparently travelling to Cannes, onwards to Brindisi in Italy, to Cyprus, and then to Syria by May that year. From there they travelled to Iraq and Iran in June before, according to family tradition, their plane crashed somewhere in the Gulf States, with photos showing the body of the plane being hauled by camel, and later loaded onto the Barala in Muscat. The plane was unloaded in Karachi, after which they returned to Bombay on the 23rd of June, which appears to have marked the end of the expedition.

With the outbreak of hostilities in WW2, Bayley attested for military service with the Central India Horse, which had recently been modernised as a Motor Cavalry Regiment trained by the Royal Tank Corps. Bayley was commissioned as Second Lieutenant on 27 September 1940 (his official warrant incorrectly giving the postnominals M.B.E., rather than E.G.M. – which seems to have been an ongoing issue), and travelling from Bombay on the 18th of July 1940 he soon after saw action in North Africa in the Western Desert against Rommel’s Afrika Korps with HQ Squadron and then with ‘A’ Squadron, C.I.H. Bayley was wounded in action on during the summer of 1941 (on 12 June, although he ‘remained at post’), and on the 20th of July that year he saved the life of a fellow soldier from his unit when a surprise attack set alight various bombs and pieces of ordnance in the back of their truck. Thinking quickly, Bayley was able to jettison the ordnance and rescue his driver, who had been wounded in the attack.

During a fierce attack upon their position by some 40 or 50 German Panzer tanks at Sidi Bregisc, ‘A’ Squadron C.I.H., The Buffs and 31st Field Regiment R.A. battled the German forces in a twoday battle. Having been surrounded and overwhelmed, Clive Bayley was one of three officers (Bayley, Turner, Kennedy) and 37 Indian Other Ranks taken as Prisoners of War near Gatale / Derna in Libya on 15 December 1941. He managed to escape briefly on the night of 15-16 December 1941 alongside various other private soldiers from his squadron once they had arrived in Benghazi, but sadly Bayley was recaptured and sent into captivity. Travelling from Benghasi to Tripoli, Bayley and his men were sent by boat to Italy, moving between P.G.65 at Capua (January 1942) to P.G.35 in Padova (late March 1943) and then to P.G.19 at Bologna by Mid-August 1943. One month
later he was transferred to Germany, firstly at Offlag V-A at Weinsburg, and then finally to Offlag VIII-F at Marishc-Trubau (later renamed Offlag 79) on September 1943, for much of the remainder of the war.

He was discharged as Honorary Captain on 25 October 1945, and that same year he married Joan Richardson (whose brother, Tommy, had been killed in WW2 as a Pilot with Bomber Command – see lot 844). After the birth of their daughter Helen Ann in 1946, on 18 November that year Captain Bayley was forwarded his ‘exchanged’ George Cross (one of just 7 issued to members of the Indian Army), in lieu of his returned E.G.M., after which he was formally invested with the G.C. on the following day. Mr. and Mrs. Bayley were later invited to an Afternoon Party in the garden of Buckingham Palace on 25 July 1947. Soon after this reception at Buckingham Palace, Clive travelled to Lagos, Nigeria, departing on 24 September 1947 aboard the Accra of the Elder Dempster Lines. Travelling ‘first-class’ as a Development Officer, he arrived in Nigeria and was based near Owo serving with the Conservator of Forests (Mr MacIntosh). Tragically, when Clive Bayley was due to fly home to Oxford for a course, he supposedly went for a swim near Lagos during a flight delay and drowned under mysterious circumstances on 30 June 1949 – circumstances which remain





Morton & Eden Auctions – Image of Clive Bayley GC and his medal group.