B.S.A. Co. Mashonaland 1890, (Trooper, Pioneers) with 6 clasp QSA KSA pair (Lieutenant, Field Intelligence Dept. ) and WW1 pair (Captain A.I.F.) serving 34th Battn.

Item type:

Product code: A6088

Quantity in Stock: 1 item(s)

Item condition: V.F./G.V.F.

Our price: £3,600.00

Medal Description

B.S.A. Co. clasp Mashonaland 1890, (Tpr. Pioneers)  QSA, 6 clasps, C.C. Tug. Hts., O.F.S., Rel. of Ladysmith, Tr., L. Nek, (Lieut. F.I.D.),  K.S.A  2 clasps (Lieut. F.I.D.. ), B.W.M., Victory (Captain A.I.F.)

W.H.V. Baker (W.V. on QSA pair)

Walter Headland Valentine Baker. Born 15 February 1862 - Oamaru, Waitaki, Otago, New Zealand. Served in the Mashonaland 1890 campaign  and mentioned in the diary of Captain 'Skipper' Hoste.

'On July 23rd we had a capsize. I was doing rear guard with my troop, when Major Johnson rode up and told me to scrape up all the old sailors that I could find, as the wagon that carried the engine and boiler belonging to the electric searchlight had capsized crossing a donga. I accordingly left Beal in charge of the troops and, taking my brother Derick and a man called Valentine Baker, both old sailors, I went on to 'C' Troop where I borrowed the machine guns' crews, who were all sailors. We then went on to the wagon which we found with its wheels uppermost. We then turned to and cut down three large straight trees—fortunately there were plenty close by—and rigged up some sheer-legs. In a short time we had the wagon the right side up again, and found that the only damage done was a slight crack in the smokestack, which had been unshipped and lashed alongside the boiler. That was about the only serious capsize we had during the whole trip, though Sandy Tulloch and his Gardner gun used to capsize in about five sluits out of every ten. His idea was to rush them. In theory the idea was probably good, but in practice it generally ended in a capsize.

Served in the Boer War earning his Relief of Ladysmith clasp as a Trooper with Murray's Horse. The roll being signed off by the Intelligence Dept. Thereafter commissioned and served  with the Field Intelligence Dept.  His KSA entitlement shows later service with the Johannesburg Mounted Rifles.

He volunteered for service in 1915 with Australian forces stating his age at 47 and was  initially posted with the Tropical Force stationed at Rabaul 11/1915 (no star entitlement for this theatre). Taken sick he was invalided 2/1916, but shortly thereafter was posted to the 34th Infantry for service in France and served with the battalion (Capt. 1/8/16), until taken sick with influenza and pleurisy at Armentieres in October 1916. he was permanently discharged in November 1917, the board commenting that whilst his stated age was 48 he 'appears much older' He took discharge in England, his address shown as the Devonshire Club. By 1922 A.M.F. Base Records state the last known address in 1922 as W&T Avery Ltd. of the Soho Factory, Birmingham, England in response to a request from Bon Marche of Perth from 1919 who had supplied Capt. Bakers uniform & 'other items'  on the eve of his departure  but had 'failed to call in and settle his account'. The 1921 Electoral Roll shows Baker living alone in Selly Oak though by 1922 he is joined by his wife and two children and is shown as living in the Selly Oak Ward. The last entry appears in 1931 and presumably died around this time

His wife, some 24 years his junior returned to Australia at some point, deceased 20 September 1975 - Scarborough, Queensland, Australia age at death: 89 years old

His only son, was killed in the Battle of Britain. Barrie Baker, of Kings Norton, Birmingham joined the RAFVR for the duration of hostilities in September 1939. He later remustered as an Air Gunner and, after completing his training, was posted to 264 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey in July 1940. After a period of night-fighting following heavy losses over Dunkirk, 264 moved south to Hornchurch on 21st August for daylight patrols. Five days later Baker was flying with F/Lt. AJ Banham in Defiant L6985. They had just destroyed a Do17 over Thanet when they were attacked and shot down by Me109's. Their aircraft crashed two miles off Herne Bay. Banham baled out and was rescued from the sea but Baker was never found. Baker was 27 years old. With no known grave he is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 11.

With a large archive (pdf only) drawn from official records

A fascinating group

 

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