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1/96 Percy Coombs Baker, NZEF

NZEF Trio to Samoan EF Casualty

  • 1914-15 Star Trio to 1/96 Pte. Percy Coombes Baker, who died whilst under training with the NZEF in May 1915, having previously served with the Samoan Expeditionary Force during the capture of Samoa in August 1914.


    Percy Baker was born in Wellington on 5th February 1889, the son of Edmund James and Frances Ann Baker (née Styles). Prior to the war, Baker worked as a hardware assistant  at the drapers and retailer's store Veitch and Allan on Cuba St. He attested for service on 9th August 1914, and served with A Company, 5th (Wellington) Regiment. Following the capture of Samoa in August 1914, Baker saw further service with the Military Police, until he returned to New Zealand in April 1915.


    Baker immediately re-enlisted for service, with his service number changing to 10/2403. He was serving at Trentham Camp in May 1915 when he took ill and was admitted to Wellington Hospital. Percy Baker died on 10th May 1915 and was buried at Karori Cemetery.


    The photo of Baker is taken from the Auckland Weekly News 4th March 1915. He is seated in the middle row, second from the left. A larger scan of this image is available upon request.


    This is a nice low-number trio to one of the earliest enlistees of the war, and a scarce casualty from the Samoan Expeditionary Force. All medals impressed: 1914-15 Star (1/96 PTE. P. C. BAKER. N.Z.E.F.), British War Medal (1/96 PTE. P. C. BAKER. N.Z.E.F.), Victory Medal (1/96 PTE. P. C. BAKER. N.Z.E.F.)


    The group also comes with Percy's father's birth certificate.


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