Herbert Thomas Baker

First Name: 
Herbert
Middle Name: 
Thomas
Last Name: 
Baker
Date of Birth: 
Friday, February 26, 1897
Mother's Name: 
Lucy Baker (nee Marsden)
Father's Name: 
James Baker
Date Enlisted: 
Thursday, April 6, 1916
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Private
Unit: 
13th Battalion
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Saturday, October 5, 1946
Place of Death: 
Waterfall, NSW
Cause of Death: 
Car accident
Details: 

Herbert Baker (Service No 6216) was born in Bathurst, N.S.W.

Herbert enlisted at the age of 19.  He was single, and working as a coal miner, and lived with his family in Bulli, N.S.W.  Herbert was the second of the Baker brothers to enlist.

He embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A14 Euripides with 20th Reinforcement, 13th Battalion on 9th September 1916. 

Herbert arrived in England on 26th October 1916 and was soon in France, arriving on 31st December 1916.  On 15th February 1917 he was admitted to hospital sick but returned to his unit a week later.  On 11th April 1917, 13th Battalion was engaged in the fighting at Reincourt when Herbert was wounded with a bullet wound to his leg.  Unable to get away he was taken prisoner and interred, first at Dulmen, then transferred to Friedrichsfeld camp.

He was repatriated to England on 29th November 1918 and immediatly admitted to hospital sick.

Herbert was returned to Australia in April 1919 and discharged medically unfit. His father James (Service No 6708) also served and returned home in December, 1917. His brother James (Service No 4449) served in France where he was killed in action in November 1916. His brother Ernest (Service No 6707) was a prisoner of war and returned home in March 1919.

On 26th October 1926 he married Viola Taylor and they went on to have 2 daughters.

On 5th October 1946 Herbert was taking his wife, daughters, and mother from Sydney to Helensburgh to spend the long weekend with family.  The weather was wet and foggy and at Waterfall, on the southern outskirts of Sydney, their car was hit by a truck travelling north.  Herbert and Viola were killed on impact.  The other occupants were uninjured.  The driver of the truck was charged and acquitted of manslaughter in May 1947.

The truck driver was William Jackson, a WWI Victoria Cross winner:

An under-age William Jackson (1897-1959) enlisted from rural New South Wales in early 1915. He saw service on Gallipoli before shifting to France early the following year. While in the sector around Armentières, he was part of a fighting patrol that broke into the enemy lines. On withdrawing, the patrol came under intense fire and suffered casualties. Although he had got back safely, Jackson insisted on returning to recover wounded men until he too was badly hit, resulting in the amputation of his arm.   (Australian War Memorial)

 

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, BAKER H T

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