An Express & Star article on 8 December 1914 reported the death of Private Joseph Baker, “Another Bilston Victim of the War”. He was 25, so was born around 1888. His parents lived at 5 Smith Street. Baker married Edith Barnsley in Lichfield in 1913, and they had a young daughter, Sarah, born the same year.
Baker served with the 2nd South Staffordshire Regiment, and had nearly completed his seven years service at Lichfield when war broke out and he was drafted to France. Before joining the army, he had worked at John Thompson’s boiler works, “and by his respectful bearing gained many friends.”
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission confirms these details – he was killed on 27 October 1914. His service number was 8170, and his next of kin was Edith Baker of 90 Sandford Street, Lichfield. He is commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium. He also appears on the High Town Ward roll of honour