John James Baker

Date of birth: 1885
Place of birth: Shirley, Southampton
Regiment: Gloucestershire
Battalion: 2/5th
Rank / Service No: Private, 202976
Died: 2nd November 1918, aged 33 years
Buried: Querenaing Communal Cemetery, Valenciennes, France (A.6)


It is not known who John’s father was, but it appears that he had died before the 1901 Census.


He had 3 known older siblings (the couple are known to have had 6 children) and his mother’s name was Elizabeth, who was born in London in 1849 and passed away in Southampton in 1929.



Richard Thomas   b. 14 May 1871 Shirley   d. 1943 19 Harold Road, Southampton   Married Annie Hiscock in Shirley in 1901.

William George   b. 4 May 1874 Shirley   d. 1943 20 Villiers Road, Southampton Married Ada Mary Cresswell in Shirley in 1906.

Elizabeth Harriet   b. 1881 Shirley   d. 1961 Southampton   Married William Dawkins in Southampton in 1899.



The 2/5th Gloucestershires landed in France on 23 May 1916, part of the 184th Brigade in the 61st (2nd South Midland) Division.


John perished during the Battle of Valenciennes, with only 9 days of the war to go.


His battalion ended the war at Maresches, just south of Valenciennes.


There are 21 burials on the site, the majority of which were buried by their comrades.


John’s headstone reads: “ Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away”.


Interestingly, it was paid for by one Miss Baker of 20 Villiers Road.


Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 22nd November 2016


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