49385 Corporal William Brooks Baker Sherwood Foresters


Corporal William Brooks Baker



William Brooks Baker’s parents were William Brooks Baker (senior) and Sarah Hannah Baker (nee Stevens) and they were married at the church of St Helena, Thoroton in Nottinghamshire on the 12th Oct 1880.


William B Baker (senior) was born in 1859 at Harts Ground near Swineshead, Lincolnshire.


In the 1861 census our William B Baker’s paternal grandfather was described as ‘a farmer of 32 acres’.


Our William B Baker’s mum Sarah Hanah Stevens was born in Thoroton, Nottinghamshire in 1857.


The 1861 census shows that our William B Baker’s maternal grandfather was described as a ‘carpenter’.


The 1881 census shows that William Brooks Baker senior and his wife living in Orston and that he is employed as a gardener.


Our William Brooks Baker was born in Orston near Bingham in 1887.


In the 1891 census we find that our William B Baker is the third child of four children living in Orston. He has 2 elder sisters Sarah 5 years older than him and Elizabeth 2 years older than him. His brother Robert is 3 years younger than our William. His father is described as a Gardener.


Our William continues to live at Orston with his family and in the 1901 census he now has 2 younger sisters Irene 6 years younger and Dorothy who is 10 years younger than our William.


We find William in the 1911 census living in Aldercar Row in Langley Mill employed as a gardener, interestingly his wife to be is employed as a parlour maid in Aldercar Hall, Langley Mill.


We do know that in 1913 our William married Ethel Francis in Stapenhill on the south- eastern edge of Burton upon Trent.


Ethel was born in 1888 and her birth was registered in Burton upon Trent. One year younger than our William.

Ethel’s parents were Herbert Francis from Thirsk in Yorkshire and Emily (nee Sharpe) originally from Rugby in Warwickshire. They married in 1887 probably in Stapenhill near Burton upon Trent were they set up home.


The 1891 census shows that Ethel is the eldest child of Herbert and Emily Francis and that she has a younger brother Arthur F and his age is given as 1 year.


We know that our William and his wife Ethel had one son born in the 3Q of 1914 and registered his birth in Nottingham Registry Office. That son was called William Henry Baker.


We do not too much about Williams military service in World War One. We do know he served in both the 1st (a regular line Bn) and 12th (a pioneer Bn) battalions and that both battalions served in France. We do not have any dates associated with his postings to either Bn and cannot therefore place his movements in France.



William was already demobbed when he died and consequently there is no trace of him in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records. We do know that he died on the 18th Dec 1919 at East Stoke where he was working as a gardener / domestic (in all probability at Stoke Hall). It is not unreasonable to consider that his death was directly attributable to ‘old war wound’ in the form of a detached blood clot or something of that nature.

William left his wife and 5 years old son at a time when his income was critical to their livelihood. We know that our William was laid to rest at St Oswald’s on the 22nd December 1919.