|Roll of Honour
Percy W. Baker
Percy William Baker was born in Felstead in 1895. The son of Thomas and Emma Baker.
the family lived in Broadway (now Stebbing Road)
mother died early in 1905 when Percy was just 10 years old.
the census records the family the Old School House, Felstead:
Percy served as Lance Corporal 12247 with 'C' Company the 1st Battalion of the Essex Regiment.
He was killed aged 22 on 14th April 1917. He is remembered at the Arras Memorial. (photograph of memorial courtesy www.britishwargraves.co.uk)
A Bad Day for the Essex
Regiment and Felsted
At 05.30 on April 14, the 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment and the Newfoundland Regiment began its advance behind a creeping barrage. Although some men were lost to enemy machine-gun fire, the Regiment soon reached its first objective - Shrapnel Trench. Troops found this deserted and proceeded to Infantry Hill. By 07.30, with both of their objectives taken, the two regiments began to secure their positions.
At about 08.00, the Germans began a strong counterattack. It soon became apparent that the Germans had used an elastic defence. With the Essex and Newfoundland Regiments in a salient, the Germans were able to attack them on three sides. Soon the Germans were able to move in behind the two Regiments and "pinch" them off from the village of Monchy-le-Preux, the location of their headquarters behind the British Lines. After fierce fighting, most of the Essex and Newfoundland men were either captured or killed.
Such were the casualties in killed and prisoners that both units became ineffective and were briefly amalgamated for convenience as the "Newfoundessex" , continuing until drafts were received to rebuild both Battalions. For the 1st Essex it was the third time in its history that it had been virtually destroyed.
Felsted Casualties on 14th