Ystalyfera Fallen

War Graves & Remembrance Graves

Lewis Baker

This is the memorial page for Lewis Baker, native of Ystalyfera, killed during the First World War. His full name was Lewis Westcott Smith Baker.

The information on Lewis Baker comes principally from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, from the Labour Voice newspaper, and the Parish Burial Register (courtesy of the Swansea Archives).

NameLewis Westcott Baker
Date of Death20th June 1917
Place of DeathFrance
Age at Death22
Unit and RegimentRoyal Field Artillery; 'D' Bty. 119th Bde.
Service NumberW/2939
Additional InformationBorn Hay Brecknockshire 1896. Residing at The Pavement Lion Street Hay Brecknockshire. Prior to enlisting he was an apprentice in business.
Son of Joseph (Born Herefordshire 1839) Grocer & Coal Agent/Shop Keeper and Annie Elizabeth Baker. (Born Gloucestershire 1861) Married 1895.
His Father Joseph was married originally in 1882 to Susannah nee Roberts (Born Staffordshire 1852) She died in 1892 aged 38. Joseph died in October 1915, during the war.
Local MemorialsYstalyfera War Memorial
Marble Plaque - English Congregational Church Ystalyfera (Demolished 2005) Plaque now housed in Royal British Legion.
Family DetailsSon of Joseph (died Oct 1915) and Annie Elizabeth Baker
Known Brothers Joseph Edwin R BAKER (Born Hay 1883)
Horatio Harold BAKER (Born Hay 1889-kia 1915)*
John Valentine R BAKER (Born Hay 1890)
Frank Smith BAKER (Born Hay 1898)
Known SistersGertrude Helena BAKER (Born Hay 1873) Grocers Assistant
Susannah Dorothy BAKER (Born Hay 1892) Assisting in Business
Una Mary BAKER (Born Hay 1900)
Bertha Annie BAKER (Born Hay 1901)

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 10th April 1915 :-

Page 2
Among those joining this week is a popular young resident in the person of Mr. Lewis W. S. Baker of Alltygrug, who has gone to the Royal Field Artillery at Criccieth. Mr. Baker who is a son of Mr. Joseph Baker of Hay (Breconshire) has been a clerk at the Gurnos Anthracite Colliery. He has a brother in the Australian Expeditionary Force in Egypt and another in the South African Volunteer Defence Force. His many friends will wish him well in the service of his country.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 12th June 1915 :-

Page 2
Deepest sympathy will be felt with Driver Lewis W. S. Baker, R.F.A. formerly of Ystalyfera and now stationed at Criccieth, in the loss of his brother, Lance Corporal Harold Baker of the Australian Expeditionary Force. His father Mr. Joseph Baker of Hay, Breconshire received the sad intimation on Sunday that the gallant Lance Corporal had died of wounds sustained in action against the Turks in the Dardanelles.

* Brother - Horatio Harold Roberts Baker
Australian Lance Corporal Australian Infantry A.I.F 7th Bn
28 yrs DIED 10/5/1915 Service number 372
Son of Joseph and Susannah Baker Hay Hereford England
Cemetery Lancashire Landing Cemetery - Turkey Grave E.43

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 11th September 1915 :-

Familiar Valley faces are always being seen these days in the streets of Winchester. Driver L W S Baker RFA formerly of Alltygrug Road Ystalyfera, writing a local friend says;
"I was in Winchester last night and ran across Danny Williams, who used to be with Messrs Evan Thomas grocers and Harold Martin (Gurnos). There are many others including Privates Williams and Edwin Price and others whom I do not know. They are attached to the Divisional Ammunition Column and are in the same camp as I. There are several Valley fellows about these camps and from what I can hear there will be a move soon."

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 16th October 1915 :-

Many local friends of Driver L. W. S. Baker, R.A.F., formerly of Alltygrug, Ystalyfera, will sympathise deeply with him in the death of his father, Mr. Joseph Baker, of Hay, a prominent North Breconshire business man. Mr. Baker passed away on Wednesday morning after a short illness and the funeral tales place on Saturday. Driver Baker has been at home during the week and returns to his duties at Winchester on Monday.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 30th June 1917 :-

Driver Lewis W. S. Baker, R.F.A. son of the late Mr. Joseph Baker of Hay and of Mrs. Baker of Swynnerton, Clyro Hereford is reported to have been killed in action in France. Driver Baker resided at Ystalyfera, with Mr. Page, Alltygrug Road, when he enlisted early in 1915 and was employed in the offices of the Gurnos Colliery Company. He was a well-known figure in the upper parts of the Swansea Valley and will be greatly missed by a large circle of friends.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 14th July 1917 :-

Additional particulars are now available concerning Driver Lewis W S (Bob) Baker, formerly of Ystalyfera son of Mrs Joseph Baker of Swynnerton Hay, who was reported last week as having been killed in action. Driver Baker, who was educated at Brecon Intermediate School, joined the R F A in April 1915, and went to France on Christmas Eve of that year. He had gone through some of the severest fighting in France since then, including the Somme and Ypres engagements and besides his duties as a driver he played his part as a signaller. A brother, Lance Corporal Harold Baker, was killed in Gallipoli in May 1915 and two brothers Bombardier J V R Baker of Penarth and Driver Frank Baker of Hay are now in training for active service. The Baker brothers come from a famous fighting family. They are lineal descendants of Captain Westcott, the only English officer to be killed in the Battle of the Nile. Lord Nelson, passing through Devon after the battle, stayed at Captain Westcott's native place, and on hearing that the captain's mother had not received the gold medal to which she was entitled the admiral took off his own and presented it to Mrs Westcott saying, "You will not value it the less because Nelson has worn it." This medal is still in the possession of a cousin of the Bakers.

As a member of the English Congregational Church, Ystalyfera, as well as being remembered on the memorial plaque that was erected there, Lewis Baker was one of the men mentioned in The Fallen of the English Congregational Church in World War One, a speech given in 1935 by John Bell, for 28 years Treasurer of the English Congregational Church.

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