Lance Corporal 1796 Arthur Baker

Arthur Albert Baker was born at 21 Kapier Street in Ipswich, Suffolk on 16 July 1881.

Lance Corporal Baker of the 5th Essex

He grew up in Ipswich working as a representative of a confectionary firm and then as a wood machinist, He became well known as a lay preacher for both the Baptist and Methodists.

In 1905 , when he was 24 years old he moved to Chelmsford into the long time employ of the ARC Works at Chelmsford as a wood turner but had just moved to Marconi as the war broke out in 1914.

In 1907 he married Ethel Mabel Pryke and lived at 21 Waterhouse Lane, Chelmsford. They had two children Pearl and Bernard.

He enjoyed playing the trombone in the ARC Works band and took part in Lawn Bowls, winning several competitions.

His love of the trombone encouraged him to join the 5th Essex territorials band where he played the trombone.

Albert Baker was politically active for Labour and the Liberals representing Labour as a Councilor on Chelmsford Town Council. He was a forceful speaker  closely allied with workers movements in Chelmsford.

On the outbreak of the war he was mobilised for active service with the 5th Essex as a medical Officers Orderly . He was quickly promoted to Lance Corporal.

In March 1915, the 5th Essex were stationed at Norwich and L Cpl Baker was in the Whalebone Public House when a 33 year old man with mental health issues smashed the pub windows with a broom handle. The police were called for but prior to their arrival L Cpl Baker and an unnamed Sergeant kept the man occupied, even though at one stage Baker was chased into the street by the man. When the case was dealt with at Norwich Police Court the Chairman publicly thanked L Cpl Baker for his assistance.

Albert wrote to Chelmsford Town Council about his civic duty to volunteer and so the Council agreed to hold his position as councilor open until his return. This happened and it was only filled on his death a year later.

On 10 August 1915 Albert Baker landed at Sulva Bay with the rest of the 5th Essex and soon after was wounded while acting as a stretcher bearer  and evacuated to a hospital ship on which he died on 18 August 1915.

His name appears on the memorial at Helles. 

In 1919 his wife married Arthur Thurkettle and moved to 73 St Helens Street, Ipswich.