The AIF Project

William BAKER

Regimental number3763
Place of birthTipperary, Ireland
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationHorse driver
Address458 Upper Roma Street, Brisbane, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation32
Height5' 6"
Weight131 lbs
Next of kinSister, Mrs Mary Stallwood, 458 Upper Roma Street, Brisbane, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date13 September 1915
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name25th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/42/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT Wandilla on 31 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll49th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 5 April 1917
Date of death5 April 1917
Age at death33
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
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength of 49th Bn, Serapeum, 2 April 1916. Transferred to 13th Infantry Bn, Tel-el-Kebir, 14 May 1916.

Admitted to hospital, Tel-el-Kebir, 17 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria on HMT 'Franconia' and proceeded to join the British Expeditionary Force, 6 June 1916; disembarked Plymouth, 16 June 1916. Proceeded to France through Rollestone, 28 August 1916; taken on strength of 49th Bn in the field, 16 September 1916.

Admitted to 5th Australian Field Ambulance, 1 December 1916, and transferred to 1st Anzac Mounted Division Station (debility); to 15th Field Ambulance Rest Station, 2 December 1916; discharged to duty, 19 December 1916; rejoined unit from hospital, 20 December 1916.

Killed in action, 5 April 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BAKER William

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