Private 15073 Albert Edward Baker

Baker Albert on RHS 96 400x600Baker Ernest 96 390x600
Albert is on the right-hand side of the above picture.                              The right-hand picture is his younger brother Ernest, killed on 1st July 1916.

Killed in Action on Tuesday, 10th August 1915, age 25.
Commemorated on Panel 104 to 113 of Helles Memorial, Turkey.

9th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 39th Brigade of 13th Division.

Son of Benjamin and Ruth Baker, of 39, Tenscore St., West Bromwich, Staffs; husband of Lucy Wootton (formerly Baker), of 166, Lodge Rd Winson Green, Birmingham.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Birmingham.

First landed Balkans, 4th July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/698372/

Genealogical Data

1891 Census
1 Chaters Passage, Tipton, Staffs.
Ben Baker (24, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Ruth (24, born Tipton) , and their son Albert Edward (8 months, born Tipton).

1901 Census
8 Stafford Street, Wednesbury, Staffs.
Ben Baker (34, Ironworks Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Ruth (34, born Tipton), and their 5 children: Albert (11, born Tipton), William (9, born West Bromwich), Mary A. (7, born West Bromwich), Ernest (5, born West Bromwich), and Ruth (2, born West Bromwich).

1911 Census
39 Tenscore Street, West Bromwich, Staffs.
Ben Baker (45, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Ruth (44, born Tipton), and 8 of their 9 surviving children of 9: Albert (20, Labourer at Iron Works, born Tipton), William (18, Plumber, born West Bromwich), Ernest (14, Packer, born West Bromwich), Ruth (11, School, born West Bromwich), Ethel (7, School, born Wednesbury), Frederick (6, School, born West Bromwich), Alice (2, born West Bromwich), and Ellen (11, born West Bromwich).

Marriage of Albert Baker and Lucy Ridden, registered March quarter 1913 in West Bromwich. Lucy re-married in September quarter 1920, to Frank L. Wootton.

Personal Data

Bert Baker was born in Tipton, but his parents had moved to West Bromwich by the time he was 2 years old. His 18-year old brother Ernest was also killed in the Great War (Pte 201264, 1/5th South Staffs, killed in action 1st July 1916 at Gommecourt), but he was born and commemorated in West Bromwich.

After Bert's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £2/3/4d (2 pounds, 3 shillings and 4 pence); this was paid to his widow, Lucy, in January 1917. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his widow in September 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Bert had enlisted in the 12 months prior to his death.

Action resulting in his death

The 9th Battalion Worcesters were formed in August 1914, as part of the newly formed 13th (Western) Division. They first assembled at Tidworth, then to Basingstoke, and finally to Blackdown in Hampshire. In mid June the Division left for Alexandria, then to Mudros, landing at "V" Beach, Gallipoli, on the 13th July 1915. They remained here until 29th July when they were withdrawn for a few days before the battle of Sari Bair.

The battle of Sari Bair commenced on August 6th; Sari Bair is a range of hills/mountains rising to 1000 feet from sea level. There are 3 distinct peaks, Hill 971, Chanuk Bair, and Hill 'Q' between them. The 9th Worcesters were to attack and take Hill 'Q' but having first to climb the steep gully of Aghyl Dere.

They were to have neared the peak of Hill 'Q' by daybreak on the 8th to begin the final assault, but the steep narrow conditions meant it was midday before they were ready to deploy. They were then hit by heavy fire, and the 2nd in Command (the C.O. had been wounded) decided that they had no prospect of success so he cancelled the order and deployed to hold their position.

From Stacke: "The heat was intense, and the troops suffered severely from thirst and hunger. The wounded were a sad plight. Few stretchers had been brought up and it was difficult to carry even those down the precipitous ravine."

The 9th Worcesters were relived from the front line, but only a short distance back. On the 9th August, 6th South Lancs and 2nd Royal Warwicks attacked the ridge with success, but were then hit by our own naval bombardment causing severe losses. The 9th Worcesters came back into the line at this point.

At dawn on the 10th August, the Turks above the 9th Worcesters began a major attack. The Worcesters repelled wave after wave, but were forced back to the head of the Aghyl Dere ravine where they consolidated, and were relieved to reserve that night. The slopes above were thick with the dead and dying from both sides; there was little hope for the wounded.

Both Albert Baker and Leslie Westley were killed during the Turkish attack on 10th August, and unsurprisingly have no known grave and are both commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald September 7th 1918
Bert Baker on Tipton Parish Church Adult School Roll of Honour.