|1. Memorial:||Wulvergem Churchyard|
|2. Book:||The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918||Pg.116|
|3. Memorial:||The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour||21C GQS|
Awards & Titles:
Early Life :A full biography researched by Andrew Thornton can be found here.
Son of Harry George Baker. husband of Joan M. B. Baker of Springfield Gordale Halkirk Caithness.
Family :Wife: Joan M. B. of Springfield Gordale Halkirk Caithness.
- The First World War 1914-1918, World-wide.
|Unit / Ship / Est.: 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars|
11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars August 1914 : at Aldershot, part of 1st Cavalry Brigade in Cavalry Division. Moved to France. 16 September 1914 : Cavalry Division renamed as 1st Cavalry Division.
|Action : The Battles of Ypres 1914 (First Ypres)|
19 October - 22 November 1914. Following the failure of the German Schlieffen Plan in August and September 1914, both sides engaged in a series of linked battles as they sought to outflank each other. The climax of these manouvres was at Ypres in November 1914 when the might of the German Army attempted to break the much outnumbered British Expeditionary Force. The political importance of Ypres, being the last town of any size in Belgium that remained in allied hands, established its importance for both sides and ensured a series of battles over four years.
The First Battle of Ypres in 1914 is characterised by a series of linked heroic stands by outnumbered British soldiers in conditions of confusion and weary endurance. The Germans never knew how close they had come to winning - at one point just the clerks and cooks were the last line of defence for the BEF. By the end of the battle the magnificent original BEF, composed of professional regular soldiers, had been all but destroyed and already the Territorial battalions were called into battle. From the end of 1914 a 'Regular' battalion was in terms of its compostion little different to a Teritorial or later Service Battalion. The professional soldiers had all but vanished.
At Wulverghem Churchyard , Wulverghem, West Flanders, there is a plot in the village Churchyard which consists of Special Memorials to soldiers known to have been buried in the churchyard but the location of the grave is unknown as the church and the churchyard were subject to German shelling in April 1918. Two headstones to members of the 1/9th Battalion London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles) are the only ones which mark original graves and these are unknown. One of the special memorials is for Squadron Sergeant Major Harry William Baker 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars killed in action on Messines Ridge on the 30th October 1914 aged 36 years; a married man who had served in the Regular Army for 20 years. The 11th Hussars were engaged as part of 1st Cavalry Division in the defence of Messines on 30 Oct.
Regimental History (1936): "At about 9 a.m. the squadron leader sent a report to the Colonel’s shelter to say that the enemy could be seen advancing from the direction of Warneton. The adjutant was at once dispatched to Br. Genl. Briggs with this information. Shortly afterwards Squadron Sergeant Major Baker came to the headquarters dug-out to say that he had located two guns in action down by the Douve stream. He was desperately keen to point out their exact position to our gunners and although warned of the danger which he ran – for the shelling was now intense – he set off on his task; he had only gone a few yards from the trench when a heavy shell burst close to him and killed him."
Citations & Commemorations :An Article in The Surrey Mirror of 7th December 1915 and also found in Ohinemuri Gazette (NZ) VOLUME XXVI, ISSUE 3491, 11 FEBRUARY 1916 - "GERMAN WHO DIED AS A BRITISH SOLDIER.
HOW HIS WIFE LEARNED HIS NATIONALITY. After he had served 19 years in the British Army, and died on the field in France, it was discovered that Squadron Sergeant-Major Harry William Baker, 11th Hussars, was a German. Recently the Home Office granted a certificate of naturalisation to his widow, Mrs. Joan Mowat Bredalbane Sutherland Baker, of The Bungalow, Peper Harow Road, Godalming, Surrey, declaring her to be a British subject. " Mrs. Baker was born at Loch Fyne, in Argyllshire, but her marriage created her a German, and according to law an "alien enemy." A remarkable fact is that although she had been happily married since March, 1908, it was only a few months ago, after her husband had been dead eight months, that the discovery was made that he was. a German. It became necessary for Mrs. Baker to register under the Aliens Restriction Order, and she also for a tune forfeited her pension. Now her nationality has been restored, together with the pension and the arrears which had accumulated during the suspension.
"I never had the remotest idea that my husband was a German," said Mrs. Baker. "In fact, he hated, anything German. Before the war he never liked me to get any toys for our little girl that bore the words 'Made in Germany.' After my husband ' was killed at Messines, France, on October 31, 1914, I received the official notification from the War Office. Eight months later I read in a paper that a Mrs. Leibold, a German, had been prosecuted for failing to register. In the report of the case it was stated that Mrs. Leibold came to England from Germany 33 years ago, and that she had a son a squadron sergeant-major in the British Army, who, in the name of Baker, had served in the 11th Hussars and had been killed in action. It startled me when I read it, continued Mrs. Baker, "for I felt that there could only be one Sergeant-Major Baker in the, 11th. The inquiries I made established beyond all doubt that it was my husband. I had understood from him that he was born at East Ham. It now appeared that he was born in Germany, and that his mother brought him here when he was two and a-half years old."
|Type||Lodge Name and No.||Province/District :|
|Mother :||Aldershot Camp No. 1331 E.C.||Hampshire & IOW|
13th December 1911
16th December 1912
14th February 1912
The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- The (UK) National Archives
- Ancestry.co.uk - Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History online
- ugle.org.uk - The records of the United Grand Lodge of England including the Library and Museum of Freemasonry
- Founder Researchers : Paul Masters & Mike McCarthy
- Researcher : Bruce Littley