KBGS Old Boys' Forum

A place to discuss Keighley Boys' Grammar School. 

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KBGS Old Boys' Forum
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Sir Abe Bailey

While sorting out some of my late father's (Geoff Clapham) school photos to send to Chris Firth I came across a reference to a famous old boy who has not been linked to the school. I refer to Abraham Bailey (later Sir "Abe" Bailey).

Abraham's father Thomas came from a long-established Laycock family, however he emigrated to South Africa where he married in 1860. Abraham, the second child of the marriage, was born in 1864. Thomas lost his wife in 1872 following an illness. A few years later Thomas sent Abraham and one of his daughters to England to be educated and Abraham came to the Keighley Trade and Grammar School around 1874/5.

To cut a long story short, Abraham eventually returned to South Africa and by the 1930s was one of the worlds richest men, his credits include diamond tycoon, politician, financier, cricketer, and a friend of Cecil Rhodes. He is worth a look on Wikipedia.

The Sir Abe Bailey Scholarship was set up in 1920. Income was to be used to provide scholarships or bursaries tenable at any university, training college for teachers, or other institutions or further education to boys who had for not less than 3 years at any time attended Keighley Boys Grammar School with a preference for such boys who were studying or about to study an honours course at Oxford University. It would be interesting to know how many boys benefitted from this scholarship.

Sir Abe's eldest sister Mary settled in Keighley and married my great grandfather's brother William Henry Clapham in 1886. Another of Abe's sisters married into the Haggas family who lived at Myrtle Grove, Keighley. Does anyone know where this is/was?

Current location (optional) Shipley

Re: Sir Abe Bailey

There is a Myrtle Street in Queensbury, and a Myrtle Grove House at Cross Roads. I seem to recall a Myrtle Street in Keighley too but can't recall where it was - possibly under a shopping centre now? Don't recall Myrtle Grove, Keighley though.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-65

Current location (optional) leeds

Re: Sir Abe Bailey

There is also Myrtle Terrace, and back Myrtle Terrace, and Myrtle View in Cross Roads, if that's any help.
I must admit that I had never heard of Sir Abe Bailey, so thank you for this.Cheers.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1947-51

Current location (optional) Auckland NZ

Re: Sir Abe Bailey


Having just cleared my loft to get some more insulation put down (free. as I'm over 70) I have found lots of old papers including the KBGS School Reports for 1942 and 1943.

The 1942 Report shows that M Holmes was awarded the "Sir Abe Bailey" Scholarship, tenable at Worcester College , Oxford that year.


Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1937-44

Current location (optional) Huntingdon

Re: Sir Abe Bailey

wonder if the M Holmes could be my dad's classmate mentioned here. assuming my dad remembered Oxford as Cambridge.

Re: Sir Abe Bailey

Thanks for your replies to my initial post about Sir Abe Bailey.
A further look at his family tree shows Abe's eldest son, John Milner Bailey, was at one time married to Diana Churchill, Winston's daughter. So, Abe clearly had the right connections!


Current location (optional) Shipley

Re: Sir Abe Bailey

Yes i no were Myrtle Grove House is i live there,The house did belong to the haggas family,And was part of bocking mill cross roads.I have nothing to do with this forum just came across it by google. Google Earth BD22 9AE

Current location (optional) Cross Roads