Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 8, 1887
Place of BirthBeaford, Torrington, Devon
Marital StatusSingle
Trade / CallingFarm Labourer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number233742/61578
Service RecordSee images below
BattalionHMS Orion
ForceRoyal Navy
BranchRoyal Navy
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentDecember 8, 1905
Age at Enlistment18
Theatre of ServiceNorth Sea
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 16, 1966
Age at Death79
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Baker, Walter

Walter Baker was born on 08 December 1887 in Beaford, Torrington, Devon, England. His father Thomas Baker was an agricultural labourer who had married his mother Hannah Cudmore during the last quarter of 1883 in Torrington. According to the 1891 census Walter had an older sister Ellen and younger brother Thomas. His mother died during the last quarter of 1892. In 1901, at age 13, Walter was working as a servant in East Hatherleigh, Devon, England.

On 8 December 1905 Walter enlisted in the Royal Navy, occupation given as farm labourer and assigned service number 233742. He served on a number of ships over the next fourteen years, including the Orion from 4 February 1914 until he was discharged on 27 February 1919, joining the Royal Fleet Reserve the next day.

HMS Orion was the lead ship of her class of four dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy in the early 1910s. She spent the bulk of her career assigned to the Home and Grand Fleets, generally serving as a flagship. Aside from participating in the failed attempt to intercept the German ships that had bombarded Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby in late 1914, the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 and the inconclusive Action of 19 August, her service during World War I generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea. (Wikipedia)

Walter’s obituary confirmed that he served in the North Sea during WW1. He earned several medals including the 1914-1915 Star, Victory, and British War Medals, and was paid a war gratuity. His character was consistently described as very good to superior.

On 5 November 1920 Walter joined the Royal Canadian Navy, his aunt Ellen in Keywood, Torrington, England given as next of kin. His service record indicated that he served on the Aurora  where he was at the time of his receipt of his war medals and the Patrician.

On 18 June 1922 Walter arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the Patrician. He listed his current occupation as Royal Canadian Navy, but said his intended occupation was farming. He was travelling to his brother, R. Baker of 914 Erin St. Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Royal Canadian Navy (government) paid his passage to Canada. In July of 1922 Walter was discharged from the Navy.

According to his obituary, Walter made his way to the Kenora area in 1943. He married Michalena Andrejciw (anglicized to Lena Anderson) in Keewatin and they had two children. He worked for the Department of Highways for ten years and then became the stationary engineer at Cecilia Jeffrey Indian School.

Walter died on 16 December 1966 at Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg. He had just turned 79 years of age. Lena later moved to Dryden, Ontario where she died on 25 May 1989. Walter and Lena are buried side by side in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario.

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