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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916


Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 22314 Bennett Baker


  • Age: 31
  • From: Walton, Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 20th Btn
  • K.I.A Saturday 1st July 1916
  • Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
    Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.

22314 Private Bennett BAKER, 20th Battalion, KLR.

Bennett Baker was born on 06th December 1884 in Liverpool, the eldest son of Henry Baker, a self-employed butcher, and his wife Elizabeth (nee Bennett), to whom he obviously owes his unusual forename.

The 1901 Census shows Bennett, aged 16 as an apprentice to a chartered accountant. He is living with his parents and seven siblings at 201 Rice Lane, Walton, Liverpool. His father is a 53 year old butcher born in Liverpool, whilst his mother is 42 years of age born in Beeston. His siblings, all born in Liverpool are recorded as; Margaret aged 18 and a pupil teacher, Alice aged 13, Kenny aged 11, Elizabeth aged 8, Frank aged 6, Amy aged 4 and baby Grace aged 7 months.  

On 05th April 1906, Bennett married Emily Florence Hitchin in West Derby Register Office, although there is no trace of them in the 1911 Census. They had two children; Florence Mary born 19th October 1908 and Marjorie born 06th May 1915. 

Bennett enlisted in Liverpool on the 06th November 1914 joining the 20th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 22314, giving his age as 29 years 268 days, his occupation as clerk and his next of kin as his wife, living at 12 Wellfield Road, Walton. He is described as being 5'4", weighed 112lbs with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and fair hair(balding). His religion was stated as Wesleyan. 

His record shows that he was serving with 22nd Battalion from 08th November 1915 in the UK before sailing for France aboard ‘SS Onward’ on 14th March 1916 where he joined 30th Infantry Base Depot. He finally joined the 20th Battalion as part of a reinforcement draft on 02nd April 1916.

He was killed in action on 1st July 1916 reportedly killed by shell fire whilst attacking enemy lines at Montauban as part of No 2 Company.

20th Battalion

Maricourt

Zero Hour 7.30am. After 65 minutes intensive bombardment the Battalion advanced to the attack of the German trenches. The Battalion advanced in four lines each of the two leading Companies on a frontage of 2 platoons – No’s 1 & 2 Companies (in that order from the right) leading. No.3 Company int neh 3rd wave. No.4 Company in the 4th wave. There being a distance of about 100 yards between each line. The lines advanced through the enemy’s artillery fire as though on parade in quick time. The leading waves went on without a pause to Alt Trench and Casement Trench which were secured at (time not stated) am. The casualties up to this being small. Our barrage lifting Dublin Trench (the 1st Objective) was captured and consolidation immediately proceeded with. Captain Whiting with the 3rd wave entrenching about 150 yards in the rear. Captain Robinson was wounded and No.2 Company was commanded during the day by Lt C P Moore. Casualties up to now were killed 2 officers – 1 wounded and 49 other ranks casualties killed and wounded. At 11.50 am orders were received for the assault of the Briqueterie. The Battalion operation orders for this were issued from NW of Germans Wood. Our barrage lifted at 12,30 pm and No. 4 Company under Captain E C Orford assisted by a section of bombers under 2nd Lt Baker who went up Nord Alley and Chimney Trench to secure his left flank, who had got right forward under cover of the fire of our guns rushed it almost without opposition. On the far side a party of the enemy were found in deep dug-outs. They brough a machine gun into action and some close fighting ensued in which Lt Gooch and Lt Williams were wounded. Opposition was however speedily overcome and the garrison consisting of the H.Q. of a Regt, one Colonel and 4 other officers – 40 rank and file , 2 machine guns together with maps, orders, documents and material fell into our hands. Steps were immediately taken for consolidating the ground won, which however owing to the destruction wrought by our “heavies” was a matter of great difficulty, what had been trenches being almost unrecognisable as such and the earth so pulverised that cover could only be made by aid of sandbags. The garrison was heavily shelled through the afternoon and most of the night and casualties were many. Battalion H.Q. were at the junction of Glatz Alley and Casement Trench north west of Germans Wood and this together with Dublin Trench received considerable attention from enemy guns. Casualties during the day 2 officers killed (2nd Lts F Barnes and JC Laughlin) and 3 wounded (Captain H H Robinson, Lt S Gooch and 2nd Lt F J Williams). 75 other ranks killed and wounded.                  

Bennett's remains were not found when the battlefield was cleared and his name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme in France.

His Service Record says he was awarded all three medals, however, his Medal Card shows only two which is likely as he apparently did not serve in France before 31st December 1915.

His widow, Emily was awarded a pension of 18s and 6d a week for herself and her two young daughters.