Private 2317 James Baker

Baker James 96 416x600
Apologies for poor quality of photograph, it's the best to hand.

Died of Wounds Home on Thursday, 2nd March 1916, age 23.
Buried in Grave C. Ded. 71. at Tipton Cemetery, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

1st/6th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 137th Brigade of 46th Division.

Son of Mrs Ruth Lane, and the late Mr James Baker, of 36 High Street, Tipton Green, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 28th June 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and St. Matthew's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/395331/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
36 High Street, Tipton, Staffs.
James A. Baker (34, General Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Ruth (34, born Dudley), and their 2 children: James (6, born Tipton), and Ruth C. (3 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
36 High Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Ruth Baker (44, Widow, General Dealer, born Dudley), and her 3 children: James (16, Moulder's Labourer, born Tipton), Ruth (10, School, born Tipton), and Joseph (8, School, born Tipton).

Marriage of Ruth Baker and Joseph Lane, registered September quarter 1911 in Dudley.

Personal Data

James Baker had served for about 2 years in the Territorials before the outbreak of war. His step-father Joseph Lane was serving with the Worcesters.

Action resulting in his death

Hill 60 stood just 3 miles south east of Ypres; it was made from the spoil from the construction of the Ypres-Comines railway, and gave excellent observation towards Ypres. It was in German hands from December 1914, was captured by the British in April 1915, but re-taken by the Germans in May 1915. The 1/6th South Staffs arrived here on 18th July 1915, their trenches just seventy yards from Hill 60, under the observation of the Germans on Hill 60.

It was at Hill 60, on 15th September 1915, that James Baker received a bullet wound in the temple. He was evacuated back to England, but died from his wounds almost 6 months later, on 2nd March 1916. He is buried in Tipton Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 11 March 1916
Ever since the war broke out there have appeared in the front window of No 36 High Street, Tipton Green, the card bearing the simple but patriotic inscription "My husband's gone, has yours?" and "My son's gone, has yours?" and now the latter card has been taken down for the son has died a soldier's death from wounds received as far back as September 15th. His name is Private James Baker of the 6th South Staffs Territorials, age 23, who had been in the local company for nearly two years when the war broke out, being in camp on that fateful August 4th 1914. His mother is the wife of Private Joseph Lane, formerly of the 1st Royal Warwicks and now of the Worcesters.
Private Baker was first taken to the hospital at St Omer, France, and was subsequently at Thorp, Norwich, coming home for a few days at the end of January. He had sustained serious bullet wounds in the temple, as well as to the left wrist. For the last few weeks he had been at the Northern General Hospital, Leicester, but the brain, having been injured, he rapidly got worse, and died on Thursday, the 2nd inst.
His mother was with him at the time he passed away. His body was brought to Tipton and the funeral took place on Wednesday, the exigencies for the present time preventing a military funeral. The deceased soldier's step-father, Corporal J. Lane, is a miner by trade, and had just finished his time on the reserve at the outbreak of war. He put in all his active service out in India, and received the King's Medal (King Edward VII) for one of the small border campaigns. He is now out somewhere in France. His deceased son was also a miner.

Tipton Herald 18 March 1916
Private James Baker, of 36 High Street, Tipton Green, a young Territorial of the 6th South Staffs, received serious wounds on the battlefield as far back as September 15th last. After receiving treatment in several hospitals he passed away on the 2nd inst at a hospital at Leicester, a bullet in the temple having damaged the brain. His stepfather is Corporal J. Lane, who is serving with the Worcesters.