Frederick Baker

Census Address: 44 East Street
Place of Birth: Stamford
Date of Birth: 1896
Enlistment Address: --
Regiment: Tank Corps
Service Numbers: 308545
Place of Death: Stamford
Date Died: 1972

Frederick Baker– 44 East Street

Frederick’s parents, Edwin and Ellen, must have married when they were about 16 or 17yrs old. They had 10 children of whom 8 were alive in 1911. Their eldest surviving son, Amos, was born in 1875 and Frederick, the youngest of the family, was born in 1896. Both his parents and all the children except Alfred were born in Stamford.

In the early years of the marriage Edwin worked as a cellarman in wine vaults but at some time between 1881 and 1891 he began to work in the terra cotta industry. This was actually on a decline in Stamford (Blashfield was declared bankrupt in 1878) so this is presumably why the family moved to Rowley Regis in Staffordshire for a few years around 1890. By 1894 they were back in Stamford living on East St and from then on Edwin’s occupation was given as Labourer on census returns however when one of his sons married (in Barnack) in 1902 he was still described as ‘Worker in Terra Cotta’.

There is a report in the Stamford Mercury on April 23rd 1897 which does not paint Edwin in a pleasant light but perhaps his frustration as finding work to use his skills might offer some explanation of his behaviour. He was charged with assaulting a Police Officer, an attack caused by the officer trying to intervene between the drunken Edwin and his family whom he had shut out of their house. Reportedly he used ‘great violence’, behaved ‘like a mad man’ and his language was disgusting. There were counter allegations of assault by the police and one of his sons spoke up for him but he was fined and given 14 days hard labour.

By 1911 the elder children were married but 3 of the sons were still living at home in ‘2 up & 1 down’ at 44 East Street – Alfred 20yrs an Engineer’s Fitter (Ag Implement Works); Harry 18yrs a Dairyman (on a farm) and Frederick 13yrs an Iron Molder (Ag Implement Works)

Frederick probably joined the 9th Sherwood Foresters then was part of the Tank Corps but no more is known about his war record. His brother Harry had joined the 4th East Anglian Brigade in 1911 and trained as a gunner but was discharged as medically unfit in March 1914.

Frederick married Phyllis Wakefield in 1918 and they had 7 children between 1918 and 1933. Phyllis died in 1961 and Frederick in 1972. A couple of Frederick’s siblings moved away but most of them married and stayed in the Stamford area all having numerous children – Alfred alone is believed to have had 20 children from 2 marriages. Edwin (his father) died in 1935 by which time he had over 60 grandchildren!