Peter Bailey beside his Grandmothers memorial

Tribute to Peter Bailey

30 Mar | News,
Image of Peter Bailey

With great sadness, FIBIS has been advised of the death of Peter Bailey last week. Peter became President of FIBIS in 2016 after holding the position of chairman for fifteen years and secretary for a short while previously. His offer to become chairman at the time not only saved FIBIS from extinction but ensured that the society grew from a modest initial membership to become one of the leading family history societies in both strength and achievements.

Peter’s vision for FIBIS encompassed a number of paths. He forged a strong alliance with the British Library (London), where the India Office records are housed and he encouraged transcriptions to be placed in FIBIS database of these and records held elsewhere that could be of assistance to the family historian. His many insightful lectures were well researched and clearly delivered and he was also genuinely interested in the experiences and stories that others shared with him and was keen to ensure that these were recorded for future generations. It is also satisfying that the FIBIS India cemetery photography project he had envisaged is now well under way. Always ready to share his own knowledge he was a regular contributor to the encyclopaedic Fibiwiki and also the FIBIS journal – but, in my view, his wonderful FIBIS guides on the armies of India will be his lasting legacy.

Image of Peter Bailey in FIBIS uniform

I had the privilege of serving as a trustee under Peter for almost nine years and witnessed at first- hand how much he willingly assisted anyone who needed research help as well as being a support for our own team. He was a hugely popular, kind and humble man who genuinely appreciated every aspect of volunteer help FIBIS received – be it large or small. There is no doubt that his character and contagious enthusiasm has contributed to the continuing success of the society he loved. To him FIBIS owes a huge debt of gratitude.

During the period of his chairmanship Peter’s wife, Tricia, was often by his side – quietly assisting at family history fairs and FIBIS meetings – and to her FIBIS also extends a vote of thanks as we offer her and her family our deepest condolences at this time.

Peter’s death is a great loss to the world of family history. On a personal note, it was an honour to
have known and worked with him and, I hope, we will all continue to fulfil his wish of “Good

Requiescat in Pace!