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Home: Surnames: Bayly Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Bayly Family Name
Posted by: Jenny Decker Date: March 09, 2000 at 15:32:58
In Reply to: Bayly Family Name by William Bayly of 151

Hello William,
I'll just jump right in here, since my query is quite detailed.
I am not a Bayly myself. However, I am an academic writer researching a rather famous woman in WWI for an upcoming book on British women at the war front. My subject in this query was probably born in 1885 or 86 in a small rural English township (which may not be small now!) and is extremely likely to have been named "Elizabeth Bayly."
Her birthname is hard to find, as she was the fifth child of a young doctor and his wife, both of whom died and left their children orphaned. The four elder were taken in by an uncle; the baby--my subject--was deemed "too young" and no other family member was willing to take her. The family lawyer finally resorted to adverts in the Times from childless couples looking to adopt. Her adoption proved unfortunate; the couple made everyone aware she was a "charity" child and treated her as a remote inferior, from which she never fully recovered. In her autobiography she therefore hides the names of both her birth and adoptive families as if they would be ashamed of her.
She trained as a nurse and was one of the first women ambulance workers in Belgium, August 1914, under the German invasion. After marrying a aristocratic Belgium army pilot who quickly died in battle, she became thereafter widely known as the Baroness de t'Serclaes, earning two Belgian war medals at the recommendation of the Belgian King for establishing advance treatment stations for wounded soldiers. Offered a commission in the new Women's Royal Air Force, she became one of its first officers and recruiters.
Bottom line: do any of you British Bayly's recognize this as a family story? She had a maiden aunt named Georgina Bayly--any recognition? Do you know of a male family member in the 1880s and 90s who was a small town physician in England? It will be interesting to see what turns up.

Jenny Decker


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