BORN HULL 1877. SON OF THE LATE ROBERT BAKER & ELIZABETH BAKER, OF 14 THORSEBY STREET, HULL. EMPLOYED AS A BAKER AT MESSRS RYNERS, SPRINGBANK FOR 25 YEARS. HE MARRIED AT ST. ANDREWS CHURCH, HULL, ON 27/05/1899. HIS WIFE ANNIE FENWICK & FIVE DAUGHTERS LIVED 89 , NEWLAND AVENUE, HULL, (1911 CENSUS) & ALSO 21 MELWOOD GROVE, BEVERLEY ROAD, HULL.
DESPITE BEING IRELATIVELY OLD AND IN A RESERVED OCCUPATION, WALTER BAKER, ENLISTED IN HULL, ON 20/06/1916. HE ARRIVED FRANCE 04/12/1916. HE HAD BEEN AT THE FRONT FOR SIX WEEKS, WHEN HE KILLED IN ACTION ON 02/05/1917, AGED 40. HIS DEATH WAS REPORTED IN THE HULL DAILY MAIL, ON 30/05/1917. *
HIS PERSONAL EFFECTS INCLUDED LETTERS, CARDS, PHOTOS, A POCKET BOOK, AND RELIGIOUS BOOK. THEY WERE RETURNED TO HIS WIDOW ANNIE. HE IS COMMEMORATED ON THE ARRAS MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING.
HE ALSO LEFT BROTHERS CHARLES AND JAMES AND SISTER EMILY.
The attack on Oppy Wood, part of the Battle of Arras, was a significant battle for the East Yorkshire Regiment and particularly for the city of Hull. All four Hull Pals battalions were involved on 3 May and all suffered heavy casualties, with 40% of those present killed or injured. 2nd Lieutenant Jack Harrison, a local teacher and rugby player with Hull FC, won a posthumous Victoria Cross for his bravery in rushing a machine gun position to protect his platoon. His body was never found.The village of Oppy in France had been in German hands since October 1914 and was part of a formidable defensive system including trenches, dug-outs and thick barbed wire defences. During the Battle of Arras, which began in April 1917, the British tried to take Oppy. The first attack was a failure. A second attack was partially successful. The third attack on 3 May, known officially as the Third Battle of the Scarpe, was again unsuccessful with significant loss of life. The troops were ordered to attack at 3.45am, rather than at dawn, and the defending Germans could easily see the line of British soldiers clearly lit by the full moon. The British continued to attack Oppy and were finally successful the following year. The City of Hull Memorial at Oppy was unveiled in 1927 and commemorates the men of the Hull Pals who were killed on 3 and 4 May 1917.