Baker, Thomas Charles Richmond (Captain, DFC, MM, b.1897 - d.1918)

Accession Number 1DRL/0084
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 1 cm
Object type Letter
Maker Baker, Thomas Charles Richmond
Place made Australia, Egypt, France, United Kingdom: England
Date made 1916-1918
Access Open
Related File This file can be copied or viewed via the Memorial’s Reading Room. AWM93 12/11/593
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Copying Provisions Copyright expired. Copying permitted subject to physical condition. Permission for reproduction not required.

Collection relating to the First World war service of Captain Thomas Charles Richmond Baker, DFC, MM and Bar, 16th Battery, 6th Field Artillery Brigade and later No. 4 Squadron Australian Flying Corps, Egypt, France Belgium, United Kingdom, 1916-1918. Collection consists of copies of letters written to family and cover his artillery and communications activities in France while serving with 16 Battery, 6th Field Artillery Brigade. Later letters cover Baker's flying training in England and the aerial actions in which he participated over France and Belgium while serving with No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps. Also included is a photocopy of his flying log book.

Enlisting in July 1915, Baker served with the 16 Battery, 6th Field Artillery Brigade in the Middle East, then later in France. As a gunner he showed considerable courage and was awarded a Military Medal in December 1916 for action near Gueudecourt. Shortly after this action he was awarded a Bar to his Military Medal when, at great personal risk, he put out a fire in a gun-pit containing ammunition. When an opportunity to transfer to the Australian Flying Corps arose, he followed his passion for flying, training in England during 1917 and 1918. Baker's operational flying career extended from 23 June to 4 November during which time he destroyed eight enemy aircraft and was credited with having forced down four more. Baker was killed in action over Belgium on 4 November 1918 and posthumously promoted to Captain and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his 'exceptional initiative and dash'.

History / Summary

This collection gives an impression of a lively young man committed to the war effort who sought opportunities to contribute by brave exploits. His humour is self-deprecating. This collection could be of interest to young people, especially regarding his comments on socks and knitted garments; his references to his Aunty's concerns; meeting King George and upper class British people. His descriptions of his exploits are humorous, especially where he describes his antics in terms of an Uncle Remus story. From the collection it also appears that he could play the mandolin.

Biographical note: Captain Thomas Charles Richmond Baker, DFC, MM and Bar, 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps. Killed in action 4 November 1918. Age 21. Son of Annie Martha Baker, of 55 Park Terrace, North Unley, South Australia, and the late Richmond Baker.