James Baker

Village memories: Derehams Lane

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Private 26353 5th Battalion, Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry
Killed in action on 30th September 1917 aged 37
Remembered with Honour in Bethleem Farm West Cemetery
Grave reference E.8

James was born in Loudwater in 1882 to Edward and Ann. In 1901 he was living with his parents at the Bricklayers Arms (later renamed the Derehams Inn) public house in Derehams Lane, Loudwater, with his brother William. He was employed as a Paper Finisher in one of the nearby mills and his father and brother were listed as House Decorators. Edward and Ann were licensees of the Bricklayers Arms from 1899 to 1939 and were a well respected couple in the village.
By 1911 James had moved to 23 Oxford Street, High Wycombe, where he ran a tobacco and news agents shop assisted by his sister Eliza. He later married and his wife Jane also assisted with the business and they had two children.
James enlisted in the Oxford & Bucks Light infantry in July 1917 and was attached to the 5th Battalion engaged in Flanders. Private Baker was killed in action on 30th September 1917 at the age of 37 whilst attached to the machine gun section.
His death was reported in the Bucks Free Press on 26th October 1917 where it was mentioned that 'News of his much regretted death was first conveyed to the sorrowing relatives by comrades who testified to his splendid conduct as a soldier and his readiness at all times to do his duty in the face of difficulties. During his residence in High Wycombe, the deceased had, by his geniality, gained the respect and esteem of all who knew him'.
James is remembered with honour in the Bethleem Farm West Cemetery in Belgium and his name also appears on the High Wycombe Roll of Honour.

Additional information taken from the Buckinghamshire Remembers website:
Name James BAKER
Rank/Number Private 26353
Regiment Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry 5th Battalion
Enlisted High Wycombe
Age/Date of death 37 30 Sep 1917
How died/Theatre of war Killed in action France & Flanders
Last known address
Cemetery Bethleem Farm West Cemetery, Mesen, Belgium
Grave or Memorial Reference E.8
Location of memorial Loudwater
Date/Place of birth c1880 Loudwater
Date/Place of baptism 03 Mar 1907 Loudwater
Pre-war occupation of Casualty paper finisher
Parents Edward & Ann Baker
Parent's occupation house decorater
Parents’ Address (last known) Bricklayers Arms, Penn Lane, Loudwater
Wife Jane Baker
Wife’s Address (last known) 23 Oxford St, High Wycombe

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