William Aubrey Baker
Private, The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)/’The Queen’s Own’ Royal West Kent Regiment
Age 10, Class III D: 'Nice boy, rather shy,works fairly well.'
William Aubrey Maltby Baker joined the war effort at 20 years old in December 1915. After leaving Alleyn’s, he worked as a ledger clerk until joining the Army as part of The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment). With the Buffs being a part of the Army’s Territorial Force, William remained in England with the regiment during 1916-17. Despite not being deployed at this time, William suffered a gunshot wound to the hand in May 1917 which saw him hospitalised for 34 days. After recovering from his injury, he was transferred to the 10th ‘Queen’s Own’ Royal West Kent Regiment and was deployed overseas in September 1917. He served with the regiment in Italy and France in 1918 before he was taken as a prisoner of war on the third day of the German Spring Offensive. After the end of the war, William returned to England where he found employment with the Gaslight and Coke Company in Westminster. For his wartime service, he received the British War and Victory medal, an award granted to all servicemen who entered an active theatre of war between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.