The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- John Robert
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- 'A' Company
- Place of Birth:
- Perth, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- William Baker
- Mothers's Name:
- Rosa Baker (nee Thomas)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Railway Linesman
- 'A' Force, Java Party, No. 4, Black Force
- Return Details 1945:
- Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Moreton Bay
William Baker Born Fremantle 1887 married in 1906 to Rosa Thomas born in Cumberland, England 1877. The couple had 6 children over 10 years, 3 daughters and 3 sons, one son died soon after birth.
John Robert (Jack) Baker married Sylvia (Joyce) Smith before 1937.
In 1939, Maude Hilda Smith died, she is mother of Joyce Baker and Nell Dorizzi .
Above: The ‘Smith’ girls were all competitive hockey players for Toodyay. We believe Mrs Chitty is sister to Joyce & Nell. Notice Mrs W. Lynn.
When Bob Baker enlisted in 1940, the couple were living in Toodyay (where Joyce was born) and he was employed with the Railways as a linesman.
Sylvia’s sister Harriett Ellen Maude (Nell) Smith was married to Tom Dorizzi. Dorizzi and Jack Baker were best of mates.
Jack failed to board ‘Aquitania’ prior to departing Fremantle on 16 January 1942 and was included in a party of about 90 men from 2/4th who sailed a week or two later with plans to tranship the group to Singapore. However by the time they sailed near Java, it was realised Singapore would fall and the men joined the Allied forces to fight the Japanese, becoming POWs about 2 months later.
Jack died 17 November 1962 in Perth aged 55 years. Sylvia Baker died in 1966.