10.10.1940 No. 249 Squadron Hurricane V7537 Sgt. Edward Bayley
Operation: Routine Patrol
Date: 10th October 1940 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 249 Squadron
Type: Hawker Hurricane MkI
Base: RAF North Weald, Essex
Location: Shades Farm, Cooling Marshes, Cooling, England
Pilot: Sgt. Edward Alan Bayley 741004 RAFVR Age 29. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Came down at 15:47 hrs at Cooling in Kent.
The exact cause is not known, however it is thought probable that it may have been caused by Sgt. Bayley losing consciousness due to oxygen failure due to icing at high altitude. However, during excavations in 1982 led by Andy Saunders he dispelled the reports that the aircraft was found to have received several bullet strikes.
Prior to joining 249 Squadron he had served with 'A' Flight with 32 Squadron.
Sgt. Edward Alan Bayley. Bromley Cemetery (St Lukes) Sec. K. Grave 198. Born in Eastbourne, Sussex on 27th March 1911, the son of Edward George and Edith Bayley and husband of Josephine Adele Bayley, of Hailsham, Sussex.
Left: Edward Bayley, as well as a fighter pilot, a father. Shown here with his daughter and one of his sons (courtesy Angela Gough)
Further information: Educated at Caterham School and Eastbourne Grammar School. He later went to Canada to study at an agricultural college and on his return to the UK ran a silver fox farm. He then went into engineering and became manager of Walsall aerodrome. Bayley joined the Eastbourne Flying Club at Wilmington airfield and qualified as a pilot, his licence was issued on 10th November 1933. Joined the RAFVR in 1937. On the outbreak of war sent to 32 Squadron at Biggin Hill. On July 3rd Bayley shared in the destruction of a Do17 and on August 18th he claimed a Do215 destroyed. Posted to 249 Squadron at North Weald on 17th September 1940. Grave inscription reads: "One Of The "Few" To Whom So Much Is Owed By So Many Also His Wife Jo.15.6.57".
His brother also flew with Bomber Command as a pilot but, after his training in Canada the war was coming to an end and so never flew on operations. Fl/Lt. Peter Malam Brothers (Later a holder of the DFC and bar, DSO and CBE, Chairmen of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association) who knew and flew with Sgt. Edward Bayley whilst with 32 Squadron told his daughter that he was amazed to hear that he had been killed as he was a very experienced pilot.
Researched for Aircrew Remembered by Michel Beckers - March 2018. Grave photo courtesy Julia / Keld at Find-A-Grave. Pilot photos and grave marker from the collection of Michel Beckers. Also with many thanks to Angela Gough who contacted us in May 2018 and advised us of some corrections.