The AIF Project

Harold Edward BAKER

Regimental number2622
Date of birth8 November 1897
Place of birthKillara, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
AddressKillara, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21.3
Height5' 3"
Weight114 lbs
Next of kinFather, Henry Baker, Fidders Wharf Road, Killara, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the 18th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces (Compulsory Military Training scheme); still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date21 February 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll21 February 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name45th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/62/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 7 October 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll45th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularEnlisted 21 February 1916 and posted to 45th Bn, 6th Reinforcements. Taken on strength, 45th Bn, 18 January 1917.
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Date of death7 June 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in St John's Anglican Church Cemetery, Gordon, New South Wales.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 7 October 1916; disembarked Sydney, 21 November 1916, and marched into 12th Training Bn, Codford.

Found guilty, 12 December 1916, of being absent without leave from midnight, 11 December, until 8 am, 12 december 1916: awarded 7 days' confined to camp, and forfeited 1 day's pay under Royal Warrant.

Proceeded overseas to France, 8 January 1917; taken on strength, 45th Bn, in the field, 18 January 1917.

Admitted to 12th Australian Field Ambulance, 11 March 1917 (rheumatism), and transferred to 4th Division Rest Station; rejoined Bn, 20 March 1917.

Found guilty, 15 May 1917, of being absent without leave from 7.45 am parade: awarded forfeiture of 2 days' pay.

Killed in action, 7 August 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BAKER Harold Edward

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