BAKER, Arthur Edward

No.5155, Private, Arthur Edward BAKER
Aged 19

8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Killed in Action on Tuesday, 21st March 1916

Arthur Edward Baker was born in 1897 in Wetheringsett (Thetford Q2-1895 4B:391), son of James and Louisa BAKER (née KIDBY).

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at Green Lane, Ixworth Thorpe, Suffolk with his father James BAKER [32] miller's carter; his mother Louisa [33] born Grundisburgh; brothers Charles James [9] and Henry William [8] and sister Lily [7]. All except his mother were born in Wetheringsett.

1911 census...Aged 14, a farm labourer, he was in Sapiston with his parents and brother Henry William (farm labourer). One sibling had died.

Brother Charles James won the Military Medal in 1918, was wounded seriously on April 7th, but apparently survived the war. Brother Henry William served the whole war in the Middle East.

The family were still at Sapiston in 1918.

Enlisted in Honington.
From the war diary:-
21st..Desultory shelling of KNOWLES POINT increased somewhat in violence. At 2.20 am KNOWLES POINT was subjected to intense artillery bombardment lasting about fifteen minutes. SOS was telephoned from DUCKS POST but decided not to act on this until information had been received that our advanced posts were in.
2.35 am. shelling lifted to the BRIDGEHEAD Village and the direct wires of both the artillery and Brigade were broken by one of the first shells. A message was received that the Germans were attacking KNOWLES POINT and DUCKS POST and fighting was taking place. Capt. Paull reported at Bn H.Q. and was sent forward to reinforce DUCKS POST with two sections. A platoon of C Coy was ordered to hold the redoubt at the BRIDGE HEAD and a platoon of A Coy at VAUX WOOD ordered to be in readiness to reinforce. The other men in VAUX WOOD and VILLAGE standing to. Germans apparently came along Avenue from FRISE to KNOWLES POINT close under their artillery lift and rushed or got through the small advanced posts outside KNOWLES WOOD. With the exception of five men all got back into KNOWLES WOOD and to their supports at DUCKS POST where an effective defence greatly assisted by a Lewis Gun prevented the Germans from advancing further and caused a great number of them to retire
Capt.Pearce organised and ordered a counter attack just before dawn which was able to clear KNOWLES POINT without meeting any great opposition, taking one unwounded prisoner and finding two dead Germans. According to the prisoners statements about 160 Germans were concerned in the attack, the object of which was to blow up the Bridges of the Causeway, 120 of the party being of the 1/6th Pioneer Battn. remainder Infantry. They left behind 9 rifles and a number of steel loophole plates.
Our casualties amounted to 1 killed Pte. BAKER 11 wounded, ten of the men being wounded by artillery fire and of these, five were wounded in the village.

There is much more after that on the same day's report, use link below.

Knowles point was opposite the Village of Vaux amongst a maze of tributaries of the River Somme. Knowles Point was an outpost designed to protect another post (Duck post) from surprise. The war diaries for the East Surrey is very here


Arthur Baker is buried in Suzanne Communal Cemetery Extension, grave F:11

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details