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Murray's Horse turned into Murray's Scouts 1 year 3 months ago #89253

  • Smethwick
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Now that we don't need to find an R Baker who died in service in 1901 the one Dave F discounted for this reason comes back into play.

Trooper 77 R Baker of Bethune's Mounted Infantry (BMI). Medal rolls (below) show he earned the Queen's South Africa Medal with a single clasp (Natal) for just 9 days service! He enlisted on 10 January 1900 and was discharged 19 January 1900. British newspapers at this time were full of reports that the BMI had just completed recruiting a second squadron and it was oversubscribed to the extent they could have raised a third squadron. The medal rolls do not tell us why 77 was discharged but could it have been because he was felt not to have the right attitude and with a host of correctly aligned replacements in the offing he was shown the door. Did rejection by the Imperial Forces spur him on to join the other side. But this is all unprovable conjecture and Arthur's suggestion of an unrecorded pre Boer War death is just as likely.



The apparent rejection of the medal in 1906 may also be pertinent.

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Murray's Horse turned into Murray's Scouts 1 year 3 months ago #89255

  • Pietrasanta
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Hello Arthur,
YES PLEASE enter this discussion… I am grateful for all brains and help to solve this family riddle. The deeper I dig, the more stumbling blocks…maybe its just my dyslexia, but nevertheless this seems infinitely complicated to me.
In answer to your questions:
There is no evidence that Roxby Balneavis Baker lived to adulthood. I have no death certificate for him. Likewise, nor do I have a death certificate for his mother, Mary Balneavis Baker, only a newspaper clip in the Deaths column announcing she had died in 1986 in Wolwerand. Nor do I have a death certificate for his father, William Andrew Baker who I believe died after 1919 in Fremantle, WA. He was listed as a prospector.
William Andrew Baker married Mary Balneavis and they gave their sons the surname Balneavis Baker. He did not take on the surname Balneavis Baker. The addition of Balneavis only went to his sons.
In the gossip newspaper article about the dinner at Government House in Auckland which William Andrew Baker attended, states, ‘being a trader in Rhodesia, where he lost all his property in a 'Zulu' raid, and returned to NZ via Zanzibar and New South wales in 1894. His wife Mary was on her way back to New Zealand via the Cape‘.
I am skeptical of the information stated in this newspaper article.
Correct, William Andrew Baker was a surveyor and secretary to J Sheehan. William Andrew Baker went on to use his surveyoror skills in Western Australia in search of gold.
But was William Andrew Baker the same person as the William Andrews (with an S) Baker who was declared insolvent in Cape Town in 1881? I assumed that since besides himself, two other males in his family resorted to being involved in Mail offices (his father and his younger brother Walter Headland Valentine Baker) and, running boarding houses-hotels, I took it that William Andrews Baker and William Andrew Baker are one and the same. Most likely my error. But somewhere I do recall reading he offered his gold watch in exchange for defraying the bankruptcy which was his father’s. So all this has swayed me into thinking the Andrews and Andrew are one and the same person. I have not yet managed to find a passenger shipping list with the family leaving New Zealand and headed for South Africa. I have not found a passenger listing leaving Zanzibar or Cape Town headed for New Zealand or Australia with a passenger called William Andrew Baker.
Yes, it appears that this William Andrew Baker goes to prison for 1year hard labour for fraud while he is a postmaster further up the coast close to Langebaan area.
Later on, upon his return to New Zealand he again gets himself involved with fraud twice over, and has the police chasing him. Several newspaper articles attest to this. He flees New Zealand as a result, lands in Sydney and after being spotted again he hops a boat to Western Australia to the gold fields where he sets up a gold claim with a Mr. A Cox.
I don’t believe that Mary Balneavis Baker returned to NZ in 1894. I am considering that her husband, William Andrew Baker deserted her and their son/s.
As said, I have no death documentation for Mary Balneavis Baker in Wolwerand, South Africa, only a notice in the death column of a New Zealand paper.
Colin’s uncle, Walter Headland Valentine Baker, lived in Durban while the Balneavis Baker family lived in Wolwerand. But yes, it is quite possible the young Colin age 22 at the beginning of the Boer War may have had affiliations closer to the Boers than the British. Especially as, after returning from the POW camp Bellary in India, he headed straight back to whence he came and promptly married an Afrikaans girl, Anna Magdalena Sofia Roos, (Her father was Tielman Johannes Roos born 1852) who, after dying from being struck from lightning with the whole family in the kombuis, and leaving a month old baby, Colin then proceeded to marry the next sister who was already pregnant with his child… Naomi Claudia Roos, (my mother is named after her) who kills herself by the use of cyanide and then Colin, years later in Southern Rhodesia kills himself also with the use of cyanide. I could ramble on… about the ‘sadnesses’ of this-my family… but I am really focused on getting documented proof.
I hope I have not given you a headache… ha ha… I look forward to anything you can offer me.

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Murray's Horse turned into Murray's Scouts 1 year 3 months ago #89256

  • Dave F
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Smethwick quote :-
"Now that we don't need to find an R Baker who died in service in 1901 the one Dave F discounted for this reason comes back into play."

Trooper 77 R Baker of Bethune's Mounted Infantry (BMI)

I do not remember discounting any R Baker ref Bethunes Mounted Infantry or is there a comma missing ;)
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards,
Dave

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Murray's Horse turned into Murray's Scouts 1 year 3 months ago #89257

  • Smethwick
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Sorry Dave - it was the second R Barker who served in the Bedfordshire Rgt who you discounted (in the previous post) because he was discharged rather than died in 1901. David.

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Murray's Horse turned into Murray's Scouts 1 year 3 months ago #89268

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I checked the attestation papers for Bethune's and there are no papers for No 77 Baker sadly.
Dr David Biggins
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Murray's Horse turned into Murray's Scouts 1 year 3 months ago #89269

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There are several papers for man named Baker in Marshall's Horse but none with suitable initials/forenames.
Dr David Biggins

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