The AIF Project

Eric Manning BAKER

Regimental number2130
Place of birthWindsor, New South Wales
SchoolOrange High School, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19.7
Height5' 11"
Weight175 lbs
Next of kinMrs Mary Jane Baker, Currajong Street, Parkes, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date31 March 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll31 March 1916
Place of enlistmentParkes, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name53rd Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/70/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A44 Vestalia on 11 July 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll53rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 27 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records21
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), 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 Bogan Gate Cemetery, New South Wales. Parents: Walter and Evelyn Jane BAKER, Currajong Street, Parkes, New South Wales. Native of Sackville, Hawkesbury, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 11 July 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 9 September 1916.

Admitted to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 15 February 1917; discharged from hospital, 11 April 1917; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 56 days.

Promoted Temporary Corporal, 1 February 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, and reverted to Private, 13 September 1917; taken on strength, 53rd Bn, in the field, 19 September 1917.

Killed in action, 27 September 1917.

Statement, Red Cross File No 0190902L, 2183 Corporal W. JEMMETT, B Company, 53rd Bn, 23 January 1918: 'I saw him killed by a High Explosive shell at Polygon Wood, during a hop over. He was blown to pieces, and there would be no hope of him being buried.'

Second statement, 2474 Lance Corporal R. QUANTRULL, D Company, 53rd Bn, 22 January 1918: 'He was killed on the evening of September 26th while going up to the hop-over tape at Polygon Wood. I heard him call out that he was hit but did not see his body. The body was found there subsequently by another Battn who sent in his paybook and disc as taken from his dead body.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BAKER Eric Manning
Red Cross File No 0190902L

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