Embroidered Cap Badges of William Freeman Baker, Welsh Regiment
To view other similar items in the archive click on the hyper-linked words below.
|Subject||Baker, William Freeman|
|Title||Embroidered Cap Badges of William Freeman Baker, Welsh Regiment|
|Notes||Two Embroidered Cushion covers, one (with Welsh Regiment Cap badge of three feathers) sewn by Willam Baker while convalescing from seven shrapnel wounds received at Ypres. He was sent to hospital in Lowestoft, and later transferred to Cowley Road Hospital, Oxford. The second cover (the 'Rising Sun' Cap badge of the Australian Imperial Force) was given to him by an Australian soldier while in hospital.|
Recollections of William Baker's daughter, Dorothy May Strongitharm (nee Baker):
'My father's parents ran a building and decoratorsw business and my father worked in his father's office 'till the Great War when he left to be a soldier. He was posted to the Welsh Regiment, they having had many losses.'
'My father came home from the trenches, and his clothes used to be full of lice, my mother used to take off his clothes and put them in the outhouse 'till they could be boiled in the copper and the lice killed. My father was finally wounded and was at Lowestoft, my mother visited him there, he was later brought to Oxford to the Cowley Road Hospital, which was a hospital for the wounded. I can well remember visiting him, we used to do drawings for him and make woolen golliwogs.'
Recollections of William Baker's granddaughter, Barbara Strongitharm':
'Like so many others who had fought in the First World War battlefields, he could never erase from his memory the horrific time he had experienced in the trenches. I can remember him speaking about the trench rats and also of how the young new recruits were given rum to dull their senses before they fixed bayonets and went 'over the top.'
No. 54650 Pte. William Freeman Baker, The Welsh Regiment, discharged on 19th February 1919.
The two rectangular bars of colour in the upper corners of the Australian cover are battalion patches, signifying the 59th Infantry Bn., 15th Bde., 5th Australian Division. Australian units differed from other Commonwealth forces in that they did not wear distinguishing badges in their caps, but instead used a system of coloured cloth patches sewn onto the upper arms of the tunic. Their shape indicated the division, one colour the Brigade, another the battalion.
|Copyright||The Great War Archive, University of Oxford / Primary Contributor|
|Digital repository||The Great War Archive, University of Oxford|
|Contributor Name||Richard Marshall (Oxford Central Library Submission Day 10th March 2008)|
|Contributed on the behalf of||Barbara Strongitharm|