Captain Baker

Private Captain Baker, 1st Battalion, Prince of Wales' Own West Yorkshire Regiment. Service no. 7100.
Later served as a driver with the Army Service Corps, no. 50718 and later, 288601.

Private Captain Baker.

Captain Baker was born in Barnard Castle on December 22nd, 1884, the fourth child of Edward and Emma Baker. His birth was registered at Teesdale.
In 1891 he was living in the Parish of Radford in the Municipal Borough of Nottingham with his parents and five siblings.

By 1901 Captain was 16 years old and living in Keighley with his parents and four siblings. His eldest brother, Edward had moved away from the family home . He is employed as a labourer.
On January 15th 1903 he enlisted as a Private in the 1st Battalion of the Prince of Wales Own West Yorkshire Regiment, for a duration of 13 years with an expected date of discharge recorded as December 17th 1916.
The next day he passed as medically fit in Halifax, to serve as a soldier in the British Army. From June 13th 1903 to January 19th 1905 he was serving under 'Home Service'.

On the 14th June 14th he was sentenced to 168 hours with hard labour and ordered to pay for the deficiencies ( damage ) to his clothing ( uniform ?) and ordered to forfeit 8 days pay after being apprehended by a civil power whilst being absent from a military tattoo and being found to be wearing deficient clothing. A couple of months later on August 12th, he was confined to barracks for 2 days having gone beyond the camp's limits.
In January 20th he was posted to India and whilst serving out there, on July 29th he was confined to barracks for 14 days for insubordination on July 25th and again confined on October 3rd for 7 days, for being absent from gymnastics on October 2nd.
On January 28th at Fort Lahore, India he was hospitalised and treated for Enteric Fever (Typhoid) and was discharged from hospital on May 28th 1906, having spent 120 days of treatment and recovery.
His service in India ended on November 9th, 1906 and he returned home and was transferred to the Army Reserve on November 12th. He was required to maintain his service periodically and completely his infantry training on July 18th 1908.

On March 26th, 1910 Captain married 23 year old Clara Hartley of Keighley. They were recorded in the 1911 census as living in Keighley and both were employed in the wool trade.
Captain completed further infantry training for the Army reserve on June 26th, 1911 and again on June 27th, 1913.
At the outbreak of war, as a Reservist, he is call to the colours and mobilised on August 4th, 1914. He is posted to France on September 8th with the British Expeditionary Force and on active service with them in France until October 9th when he received a serious gunshot wound and was invalided home. He remained on Home service until December 27th 1916.
On April 9th, 1915 Captain was attached to the Northumberland Fusiliers whilst employed in Beswick Works in Newcastle upon Tyne.
His 'Terms of Employment' expired in December 1916 and he is discharged from service with the West Yorkshire Regiment on the 26th / 27th December. He had served for a total of 13 years and 188 days.
Captain immediately enlisted for the duration of the war on December 28th, 1916 and on February 9th, 1917 he was called up for service with the Army Service Corps. His civilian occupation at the time was 'iron tuner' and on February 17th, 1916 he was living at 222, Sunnydale View, Thwaites Brow, Keighley aged 31, when he was classed by the MTASC as being capable of being a learner driver.
Captain completed his motor transport course on May 13th, 1917 and qualified as a Lorry Driver with the Army Service Corps. He was posted on May 17th to France with the Mechanical Transport Company in the Army Service Corps. They embarked in Southampton and arrived in Le Havre on May 18th where he is attached to the MTASC.
He served with them until March 21st, 1919 when his war service ends. He formally states that he is not suffering from any disability brought about by his military service and he is demobilised on April 27th, 1919. He remained a Private throughout his Army service.

On December 13th, 1937 Captain applied to join the Old Contemptibles Association and he was accepted as a member on May 7th, 1938.
His military records show him to be a man / soldier of good character, intelligent and reliable.

His brother Major Baker was killed in the war having been recorded missing on December 19th, 1914. His name is listed on the Le Touret Memorial.

Source information:
Birth, marriage and death records.
1891, 1901 and 1911 census.
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920.
Army service records.
Research carried out by Steven Jolly.

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