BAKER, Frank

Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars. 23 April 1916

Frank Baker was the son of Mr and Mrs Joseph Baker of 44 Brettell Lane, Dudley, and attended the Claughton school. He was a young volunteer with the Worcestershire Yeomanry who were sent in 1915 as part of the 1st Mounted Division to reinforces the units on Gallipoli. He was in the first draft which left Devonport and landed at Suvla Bay in August and fought at Chococolate Hill. In November they moved to Alexandria for the defence of Egypt and the Suez Canal. Aided by German military advisers the Turks decided to invade Egypt and won a considerable success on the 23rd April 1916 at Katia. Two Squadrons of the Worcester Yeomanry had been posted at Oghratina, a village some five miles in advance of Katia. The British force was light but the Turks numbered 2,500. The Turks attacked at 7 a.m. and cut the wire in front of the British position. There was heavy firing until 7.15 and then quiet for some time. The Turks were helped by a fog which covered their advance and enabled them to surround the village. They then rushed the British forces. The Worcesters fought desperately, as was shown by the fact that eight of the thirteen officers were killed and three wounded. A major problem was that shell fire had killed many horses and the Worcesters were unable to withdraw with the other cavalry units. Trooper Frank Baker was killed in action. He was 17 years of age and is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial and on the Dudley, Worcester Cathedral Hussars and Claughton school Memorials. His brother, Walter, joined a later draft and fought in the subsequent campaign, only to be taken prisoner of war and to die in a Turkish camp.

Commemorated at:

Dudley Gilbert Claughton school

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Dudley Gilbert Claughton school

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