QSA (5) Defence of Ladysmith, Orange Free State, Laing’s Nek, Belfast, Cape Colony (29281. Cpl. J. Baxter. RE) clasps in this order, unofficial rivets between 4th and 5th clasps;
KSA (2) (29281 Corpl: J. Baxter. RE);
1914 Star, with clasp (11 Sjt. J. Baxter. RFC) note early number;
BWM and VM (2. Lieut. J. Baxter. RFC);
Army LS&GC GV 1st issue (11. Sjt: J. Baxter. RFC)
Together with 2 Aldershot RE Challenge Shield Prize medals, both bronze and both engraved to recipient for ‘1906’ and ‘1907’
James Baxter was born in February 1877, attested for the Royal Engineers in 1896, and was posted for service with the Royal Engineers ballooning unit, the Balloon Section, in August 1899. Shortly thereafter, he witnessed active service in South Africa, serving in No. 3 Field Troop, RE from June 1900, which was formed from No. 2 Balloon Section after the relief of Ladysmith, and in No. 1 Balloon Section, until the end of hostilities.
Baxter advanced to Sergeant, and was serving with No. 1 Balloon Company on mobilisation of the Air Battalion (awarded LS&GC in April 1914 - the third LS&GC to be awarded to a member of the newly formed Aeronautical Service). He served as a Flight Sergeant with 2 Squadron in the French theatre of war from 13 August 1914. Baxter advanced to Sergeant Major, and was awarded his Aero Club Aeronauts’ Certificate No. 98, 12 October 1916. He was also commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps on the same date. Baxter made a safe descent when his balloon (Br balloon 33-11-3) was shot down by the German Ace and Pour Le Merite winner Heinrich Gontermann near Arras, 22 April 1917. He was appointed Acting Flight Lieutenant RAF (Balloon Section) in April 1918, and is shown in the Air Force Lists as retired Flight Lieutenant (E) in 1937.