The AIF Project

Bob Heard BAKER

Regimental number2445
Place of birthSpreyton, Devonshire, England
Age on arrival in Australia19
ReligionChurch of England
AddressSprington, Clydesdale Street, Victoria Park, Western Australia
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 7.5"
Weight135 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs Florence Baker, Springton, Clydesdale Street, Victoria Park, Western Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date24 May 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll24 May 1915
Place of enlistmentPerth, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name16th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/33/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A51 Chilka on 18 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll16th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 31 August 1916
Place of death or woundingMouquet Farm, Pozieres, France
Age at death from cemetery records31
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Stephen and Rhoda BAKER, husband of Florence J.C. BAKER, 19 Clydesdale Street, Victoria Park, Western Australia. Born at Spreyton, Devon, England~
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Taken on strength, 16th Bn, Gallipoli, 2 August 1915; admitted to 1st Australian Stationary Hospital, Mudros, 9 August 1916; transferred to St David's Hospital, Malta, 21 August 1915 (gun shout wound, shrapnel wound, deafness); to England, 25 August 1915; to 2nd London General Hospital, Chelsea, 3 September 1915; marched into No 3 Command Depot, Weymouth, 16 October 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, 15 January 1916; rejoined unit, Ismailia, 15 January 1916.

Embarked Alexandria, 1 June 1916 to join British Expeditionary Force; disembarked Marseilles, France, 9 June 1916.

Missing in action, France, 31 August 1916; reported killed in action, 31 August 1916.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BAKER Bob Heard

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