William Reynolds ‘Bill’ Bayly joined the staff of Princes as a pupil teacher in 1883, the year after he completed his education at the school. He taught english and science at junior and senior levels and became second master, and was an officer in the school’s cadet corps. Bayly was also a noted sportsman and early photographs show him rowing on the River Torrens.
In 1909 he left Princes to be the headmaster of Geelong College, Victoria. The 39-year tenure of headmaster Chapple finally ended and in 1914 Bayly was appointed to succeed him, becoming the first of two old scholars to occupy the position. Impressive in appearance and oratory, Bayly is remembered for his strong Christian principles, care for others and, despite the stern appearance of contemporary photographs, his sense of humour.
Many of the students he had taught at Prince Alfred College served and died in the First World War. A campaign to raise funds to honour their service enabled the construction of the Memorial Building, the only major building completed during his term. He retired at the end of 1929 and was succeeded by another old scholar and his former student, John Frederick Ward.