During the whole of World War 1, baring a short closure between 22nd December 1916 and 28th February 1917, the house at Ashton Hayes was used as a military hospital. The hospital kept a register of all of the patients who were admitted there and one name in that book stands out – Ernest Bailey of the 1st Border Regiment. The entries are not dated but his name appears before the closure suggesting that he may have been admitted in late 1914 or early 1915 – this formed the start of a further investigation.
Ernest was born c1894 in Walsall Wood, Staffordshire, son of John and Rosannah Bailey. He was one of seven children and in the 1911 Census, at the age of 17, he is working as a postman.
An article in the Walsall Observer and South Staffordshire Chronicle, dated 25th January 1915, confirms the link between this man and Ashton Hayes. However, we cannot find any details of his death in Cheshire (or anywhere else for that matter) nor can we identify any reason why this man would have been included on the War Memorial at Ashton Hayes.