George Baker

Royal Munster Fusiliers
Date of death 
1 May 1915
Age of death 
14 Chase Road
South Woodford
E18 2JY
Address source 
1911 Census (Family Address)
Cemetery / Memorial 
Turkey (including Gallipoli)

Born in 1890 at South Woodford, son of George (Chimney Sweep) and Alice Selina Baker. 1901: With his Grandmother Elizabeth Baker at 26 Taylor Street, Southborough, Kent. 1911: A Private soldier with 1 Royal Munster Fusiliers in Punjab India. His family was at 14 Chase Road, Grove Hill, South Woodford, later 1 Chase Road, South Woodford. His service number suggests he joined the Army in 1909.

At dawn on 25th April 1915 he was among troops from the Munster and Dublin Fusiliers, who landed on “V” Beach at Cape Helles during the first day of the Gallipoli Campaign. As the Battalion emerged from openings in the SS River Clyde and ran down walkways, many men were lost to an intense Turkish barrage of shrapnel and machine gun fire. George Baker was fortunate to survive the initial invasion. With a casualty figure of about 70%, 1 Munsters joined with 1 Royal Dublin Fusiliers from 30 April to 19 May to comprise a single Battalion of reasonable strength.

At 08.00 on 28th April 1915 a bombardment announced the start of the First Battle of Krithia in which the allies intended to break out of the beachheads and take Turkish territory up to and including Krithia. However the attacks were repulsed, and the British line broken in one place by a Turkish bayonet charge. At 18.00, the surviving British forces retired to their original trenches having made no progress at a cost of approximately 3000 losses.

At 22.00 on 1st May 1915 under the command of attached German General Otto Liman von Sanders, 21 Turkish Battalions launched a large scale night attack, aiming to drive the allies back in to the sea. While many Turkish troops were killed crossing flat open ground, they managed to break through the lines in two places before being ejected by allied reinforcements. The attack was thwarted, but it had cost well over 1000 further British casualties, including George Baker who was one of those Killed in Action.

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian

Principal Sources:

Gallipoli Web Sites