Born on 26th March 1891, Maurice was the eldest of Maurice Stephen and Louisa Gertrude Baker’s three sons. He also had four sisters (Gertrude, Winifred, Evelyn and Kathleen). Maurice and his family are recorded as living at 39 Queen’s Gardens, Northbrook Road, Ilford in 1901. From the 1911 census it appears as if the family had moved a short distance to number 83, however the houses had just been renumbered and Queen’s Gardens was incorporated into Northbrook Road; the Baker family home became known as 83 Northbrook Road.
Maurice Baker was pupil number 635 in the admissions register for the Park Higher Elementary School having enrolled on 1st July 1902, aged 11. Like many of his classmates, his previous school had been nearby Christchurch Road School. He remained at the school for two years before, according to the school records, leaving to enter a job in ‘Business’ aged just 13.
In reality, Maurice followed his father’s career path and became a sorter in the Post Office. His two older sisters became teachers (one of the few professions open to women at the time) and one of his brothers, Laurence, became a telegraph clerk.
During the war, he enlisted with the London Regiment (Queen’s Westminster Rifles) and was posted with the 2nd/16th Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. His service number was R/38464.
Tragically, he died aged 27 on 20th October 1918, just twenty-two days before the Armistice was signed and the war ended. He was buried in grave V.B.17 in La Kreule Military Cemetery in Hazebrouck (Nord, France). Between September and October 1918, No.9 British Red Cross Hospital was stationed in this location and so Maurice was probably treated there before he died.
Research by Andrew Emeny, History Teacher at ICHS
ICHS school records and magazines
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Ilford County High School started life as the Park Higher Grade School in 1901 in Balfour Road, Ilford. It was renamed Ilford County High School (or initially County High School, Ilford) in the years after the school’s management was transferred from Ilford School Board to Essex Education Committee in 1904.