Private 8861 John Baldwin

 Baldwin John 96 334x600Baldwin John 96 403x600

Died of Wounds on Tuesday, 29th August 1916, age 23.
Buried in Grave III. G. 62. at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe, Somme, France.

2nd Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 100th Brigade of 33rd Division.

Son of Mr & Mrs Baldwin, of 9 Bridge Rd.,Toll End, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Rowley, Staffs, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 5th November 1914.
Medal entitlement: 1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

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

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/270203/

Genealogical Data

Birth of John Baldwin registered June quarter 1893 in Dudley.

1901 Census
6 Hackett Street, Toll End, Tipton, Staffs.
John Baldwin (38, Forge Labourer, born Southam), his wife Julia (40, born Bilston), and their 2 children: Sarah (13, born Finedon), and John (8, born Tipton).

1911 Census
9 Bridge Road, Toll End, Tipton, Staffs.
John Baldwin (48, General Labourer, born Southam), his wife Julia (50, born Coseley), and 1 of their 2 surviving children of 5: John (18, Sheet Mill Hand, born Tividale).

Marriage of John Baldwin and Beatrice E. Lynch registered in December quarter 1915 in Dudley.

Personal Data

According to the Tipton Herald, John Baldwin enlisted in the "Royal Reserve" in May 1914, volunteered for the front, and arrived in France on 5th November 1914 with the 1st Battalion, Worcesters. He afterwards came home frost-bitten, and when he recovered he joined the 9th Battalion in Gallipoli. He was wounded there, again came home, before joining the 2nd Battalion in France.

John's Medal Index Card shows that he was just awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal, this is wrong as he was also entitled to the 1914 Star.

After John's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £6/19/11d (6 pounds, 19 shillings and 11 pence); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Beatrice, in November 1916 and February 1917. His War Gratuity was £8/10/0d (8 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his widow in January 1920. John's widow, Beatrice, had re-married in December quarter 1917, and was now Mrs Beatrice E. Garner (her marriage registration said Eileen B. Baldwin married Thomas Garner in Dudley). The value of the War Gratuity suggests that John had enlisted in approximately February 1915.

Action resulting in his death

Delville Wood had been the scene of heavy fighting since 14th July 1916, with Tipton-born Joe Davies winning the Victoria Cross here on 20th July. The 2nd Worcesters came into the line at Delville Wood on 19th August with the north part of the wood still in German hands.

An attack, in conjunction with 1/9th Highland Light Infantry, was planned for on the night of 20th/21st August to prevent the enemy extending their trenches. Unfortunately due to mistakes and delays, the Worcesters failed to arrive in time for the attack which was carried out by the Glasgow Highlanders on their own. The Worcesters were relieved on the evening of 22nd August.

During this tour of duty, 22 men from the 2nd Worcesters lost their lives, with many more men wounded. John Baldwin was amongst the wounded and arrived at No. 36 Casualty Clearing Station, Heilly, on 22nd August. He succumbed to his wounds a week later on 29th August, and was buried at Heilly Station Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 14th October 1914
Ocker Hill Patriots join up.
Includes John Baldwin.

Tipton Herald 30th September 1916
News has officially reached Mr and Mrs Baldwin, of 9 Bridge Road, Toll End, Tipton, of the death of their son Private J Baldwin of the 2nd Worcesters. The following sympathetic letter has been received from the Chaplain of his regiment:-
Dear Mr and Mrs Baldwin, I am very sorry to have to tell you that your dear son, Private J Baldwin, who was admitted to hospital here on August 22nd, died of his wounds yesterday. During his illness, he received my ministrations most gratefully, and died a good soldier of Jesus Christ. I buried him this evening in Heilly Military Cemetery.
Please accept my deepest sympathy in your sad loss.
Yours sincerely, R.A. Adderley (C.F.).
We may mention that Private Baldwin was highly respected, and a devoted attendant at the Ocker Hill branch of the Church of Engand Temperance Society. He manifested a great interest in the recreation side. He enlisted in May 1914, in the Royal Reserve, volunteered for the front, and arrived in France on November 5th with the 1st Battalion. He afterwards came home frost-bitten, and when he recovered he returned to the 9th Battalion. He went through the Gallipoli campaign, and receiving wounds there, again came home. On recovery he was sent to France with the 2nd Battalion, in which he served until he met his death. Deceased was 23 years of age, and prior to joining the colours was engaged as an erector at Horseley Engineering Works. His parents have the deepest sympathy of the residents in their irreparable loss.

West Bromwich Free Press November 1916
News has been received by his wife, who lives at Phoenix Street, West Bromwich, that Pte. J Baldwin, Worcester Regiment, died on 30th August from wounds received in action. He was 23 years of age, and a native of Toll End, being employed before he enlisted at Messrs Braithwaite and Kirk's works. He had served in the Gallipoli Peninsula, and went to France 12 months ago.