Person    | Male  Born 24/9/1892  Died 16/9/1918

Private Robert William Baker

Categories: Armed Forces

Countries: Belgium

War dead, WW1 i

Commemorated on a memorial as having died in WW1.

Private Robert William Baker

Robert William Baker was born on 24 September 1892 in Westminster, London, the younger son of Frederick George Baker (1861-1943) and Elizabeth Baker née Burton (1860-1916). His birth was registered in the 4th quarter of 1892 in the St George Hanover Square registration district, London. On 13 November 1892 he was baptised in St Margaret's Church, Westminster, where the baptismal register shows that the family resided at 119 Regency Street, Westminster and that his father was a clothworker.

In the 1901 census he is shown as aged 8 years, living in two rooms at 119 Regency Street, Westminster, with his parents, his brother Frederick George Baker (1885-1924) and his maternal grandfather Joseph Burton (b. circa 1820 d.1905). His father is described as a clothworker shrinker, his mother as a dressmaker and his elder brother as an office boy.

The London Gazette shows that on 23 August 1910 he was appointed without competition as a temporary assistant postman. The 1911 census return form confirms that he was aged 18 years, a Post Office servant, residing in three rooms at 36 Castle Street East, Marylebone, with his parents, his brother and a married cousin Alice Porter. (Castle Street East was renamed in 1918 as Eastcastle Street). His father described himself as a clothworker and his elder son as a porter (tailor's). 

Post Office Appointment Books show that he was promoted to the grade of postman in the Western District Office, London, in January 1913.

Army records show that he enlisted on 2 September 1912 as a Rifleman in the 8th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Post Office Rifles), a Territorial Force for home defence, giving his civilian occupation as a tube attendant (a grade in the Post Office), confirming that he resided at 36 Castle Street East. His service number was 1507. Having participated in annual training, upon the outbreak of World War One he was embodied on 5 August 1914 and later transferred to their 2nd/8th Battalion on 18 December 1914. On 19 June 1915 he was attached to the 101st Provisional Battalion, The London Regiment. On 1 January 1917 the 101st Provisional Battalion absorbed the 103rd Provisional Battalion and became the 30th Battalion, The London Regiment and on 31 January 1917 he was appointed as a Bugler in this regiment. On 12 June 1918 he was posted as Private to the 33rd Battalion, The London Regiment, service number 860790, and entered France on 3 July 1918. He died 'accidently in the field', aged 25 years, on 16 September 1918 and was buried in Plot 6, Row B, Grave 4 in the Hagle Dump Cemetery, Sint-Pietersstraat, 8906 Ieper (Ypres), Belgium.

On 28 February 1919 his army effects totalling £18-18s-1d were sent to his father who also received his £19-0s-0d war gratuity on 29 December 1919. He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal 1914-1918 and the Victory Medal. These, together with his Next of Kin Memorial Plaque, Scroll and King’s Message, were sent to his father at 111 Tachbrook Street, Pimlico, London, SW1.

He is shown as Baker. R.W. on the Western Postal District war memorial in Mount Pleasant, London, WC1. He is also commemorated on page 20 in the Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance's Book of Remembrance 1914-1920, on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website, which gives his age, incorrectly, as 24 years and on the Imperial War Museum's Lives of the First World War website, that claims, incorrectly, he was born in 1894.

Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Private Robert William Baker

Commemorated ati

Western Postal District war memorial - Rathbone Place

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