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Charles Tanqueray Baker (1893-1915)

Son of William Wing Carew Baker (1860-1930) and Catherine Anna Tanqueray (1861-)

Born 23 Feb 1893 at Milton Bryan
Died 16 Aug 1915 at Gallipoli
Buried at Azmak Cemetery, Suvla, Turkey


Was a Captain in the Bedfordshire Regiment (1st/5th Battalion). Killed at Gallipoli Sunday 15th August 1915.

Noted as the son of the Rector of Dunstable.

Regimental notes: "Although suffering from a shattered arm he went on at the head of his company until he was shot again."

Extract from 'The Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment' by G.W.H. Peters[1]:

In some quarters this stalemate had been foreseen since the autumn of 1914. Partly for this reason, partly through a desire to help Russian Allies and partly because our national strategy has always been basically maritime, British statesmen and military leaders began to look elsewhere. In April the attack on Gallipoli, brilliant in conception, rich in promise, but amateur in execution had failed narrowly. In August when 5th Bedfords landed at Suvla Bay as part of 54 Division, hopes of breaking through to the Dardanelles were still high.

The adventures of this Battalion in its first few days of action typify the strength and weakness of our Territorials; the dash and spirit in attack which made them irresistible; the inexperience which brought unnecessary casualties when the objective was taken; the local and typically British foundation of their tradition.

'As the last advance was made Captain C. T. Baker of Dunstable, his arm completely shattered went on at the head of his Company until he fell mortally wounded.'

The important point here is not that Captain Baker did his duty, but that he was the son of the Rector of Dunstable. The men killed with him would also have come from Dunstable, perhaps been christened or even married by his father. Sorrow comes easier if it can be shared with pride and dignity. This coin has also a reverse side. Shame is hard to bear, when circumstances are known to all so that men brought up in a small community rarely let their comrades down.

In their very first action on August 15 the 5th Bedfords went off with bayonets fixed and extraordinary dash, rather like Prince Rupert's Cavalry in Cromwell's Civil War. On the first objective it required really superhuman efforts on the part of two experienced officers to restore direction and cohesion. Fortunately this was achieved without sapping enthusiasm for the final charge on a feature known as Kidney Hill.

'It was a great and glorious charge, but the position was won at terrible cost. The whole advance had been made with bayonets fixed and when the final stage was reached and the order to charge rang out the men dashed to the attack. There was no stopping these unblooded British troops; London, Essex and Bedford Territorials charged together, but the men of the 5th Bedfords outstripped the Regiments on their right and left and dashed into the lead, causing the line to form a crescent and sweeping everything before them. Turks went down before cold steel in hundreds, and those who were not killed turned and fled.'

Captain, 5th Battalion (Territorial), Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action Sunday 15th August 1915. Aged 24 years. Commemorated in Azmak Cemetery, Suvla, Turkey. Special Memorial 31.[2]


  1. ^ 'The Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment',G.W.H. Peters pp. 66-67 - ISBN 0 85052 034 7
  2. ^ (external link)

Created by: Robf. Last Modification: Friday 02 of January, 2009 10:56:31 WST by Robf.

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