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First 50 Heroes - Walter Saddington Baker

A cache by Moira Crackers Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 11/05/2018
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

This cache is placed on a public footpath/bridalway with lovely views.  

Walter Saddington Baker.

Walter was born on the 5th November 1889 and spent his early years in Hotel Street, Coalville.  Around 1992 the family moved a short distance to Park Road, Coalville.  He was educated at Coalville British School, based at the London Road Baptist Chapel, and subsequently at the Westleyan School on Belvoir Road.  Walter learned Pitman shorthand and typing skills by the tender age of 12.  At the age of 14 he was soproficient he was teaching adults at a nearby night school.  A very able and intelligent young man, he also taught piano and organ, which he again mastered at a relatively young age.

When he left school he became a costing clerk at Stableford's Wagon Works, Coalville and studied to become a draughtsman.  Walter enlisted at Coalville in mid-August 1914 into the 5th Leicestershire Battalion.  With the other 49 recruits he spent nearly two months under canvas on the High Tor of Charnwood Forest, also training at the Drill Hall in Loughborough and the institute at nearby Thringstone.  Whilst at Luton an officer noted his sharp-mind, his secretarial and administrative skills, which were much sought after in 1914, and senior officers decided he would be of greater benefit serving elsewhere.  On 1st April 1915, Walter was sent to Aldershot to familiarise himself with various military techniques and methods, before further training at the Army Service Corps in Kensington, London.  He was then posted to the 52nd Lowland Division, his primary role involved the planning and logistics for the remainder of the Division to embark for the Mediterranean.

Walter departed Liverpool Docks on the 21st May 1915 aboard H.M.T 'Mauritania' and no doubt gave due consideration of his future destination, the Dardanelles.  After 3 years of seeing many battles and sights, some to horific to mention Walter received his first leave of the war, and joyfully returned home to marry Fanny Kirkalnd on 5th June 1918.  The couple had two sons, Colin Price Baker, who sadly died in childhood and Denis Walter Baker.

In July 1918 Walter returned to the Western Front and assisted in the final push for victory.  Walter was proud as 155 Brigade led the ceremonial entry parade into Mons, Belgium, on the 15th November 1918, the same town that the initial conflict had started back in 1914. After assisting with the wind-down of regimental affairs he was finally demobbed in February 1919.  His outstanding contribution to the war effort deservedly earned a Meritorious Service Medal.

After four and a half years military service he returned to the offices at Stablefords, until they went into reveivership in 1927.  From there he got a job in Syston and cycled to and from work (a 25 mile round trip) until obtaining the position of Assistant Relieving Officer for Ashby de la Zouch. In October 1933 he was appointed Deputy Registrar for Births, Deaths and Marriages.  For many years he was the organist and Deacon at Ebernezer Baptist Chapel at Coalville.  

During 1939-45 the heavy movement of wartime evacuees vastly enlarged his duties as Relieving Officer, and asa result health problems were beginning to resurface, mainly as a result of his health-sapping war-years.  He was diagnosed with myocarditis (heart disease).  It was during the dreadfully long and cold winter of 1947, following an attack of pneumonia that further weakened him, that he quietly succumbed after a determined struggle, aged only 58 years.

The picture was created for the exhibition.


First 50 Heroes

The Coalville Heroes Series celebrates the first fifty volunteers from our area to take part in the Great War of 1914-18. Each geocache commemorates a real volunteer and describes his activities during the Great War.

This cache was placed by Moira Crackers with kind permission of the landowner.

The GAGB are helping to coordinate this series. Please get in touch if you would like to be involved.

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