Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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5051104   Private James Baker
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Dated added: 15/01/2020   Last updated: 15/01/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 7th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment (British Army)
Died: 23/05/1942 (Died by accident)
Age: 23
Summary      
James Baker was the son of Edward and Ada Baker, of Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent. Private James Baker was serving with the 7th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, when he died crossing the River Blackwater in May 1942. The man listed is ‘best-fit’ with the information available. Private Baker’s remains were returned home to England.
Further Information
James Baker was the son of Edward and Ada Baker, of Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent.
Private James Baker was serving with the 7th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, when he died on 23rd May 1942. He was 23 years old.
The report below details the death of two soldiers who died crossing the River Blackwater in May 1942.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 30th May 1942: Soldiers Drowned in Blackwater
Newspaper report
Two soldiers lost their lives on the River Blackwater on Sunday afternoon. They were crossing the river from Tyrone to Armagh in a small boat when they fell into the water. Police commenced dragging operations immediately, but up to Monday night the bodies have not been recovered. One of the bodies was recovered later. It was that of Private James Baker of Burnley.
The man listed is ‘best-fit’ with the information available. However, there is no information on who the other man who died was.
Neither is there any information on the exact location of the accident.
There was a Raymond Mayer, also with the 7th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, who died on 24th May 1942. He too was 23 years old.
Private Baker’s remains were returned home to England and he was buried in Norton-In-The-Moors (St. Bartholomew) Churchyard. His inscription reads: GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN TO GIVE HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY. R.I.P.
The CWGC record Private James Baker as the son of Edward and Ada Baker, of Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent.
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 River Blackwater Moy Died crossing River Blackwater 54.443665 -6.694362
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 Private Rayond Mayer Possibly the second man on the boat
2 St Bartholomew's Church Photo of Private James Baker's gravestone
3 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private James Baker's gravestone can be purchased here
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2020