Harry Knox Baker
Serial No. 4741
3rd Battalion & 55th Battalion
Harry Knox Baker - Information
When Harry decided to enlist in the AIF, he was living on Kenny St in Wollongong with his brother, Sydney Ernest. Harry was born in Picton, and moved to Wollongong to work as a postal assistant. When he was 22, he joined the colours in Holsworthy on the 29th of September 1915. During training, Harry was made a Private with the 3rd Battalion. He then boarded the HMAT Star of England, which sailed out of Sydney Harbour on the 8th of March 1916.
Harry landed in Egypt, and joined the 55th Battalion at Ferry Post in late April as Acting Corporal. At the end of June, Harry left Alexandria for France. In a bid to occupy German forces from the Somme Sector, the 55th Battalion went over the top at Fromelles on the 19th of July. It was a disaster; the men were simply mowed down by machine gun fire. Harry was then appointed Lance Corporal on the 22nd of August. While spending the winter in the Somme Sector, he was promoted to Corporal on the 17th of November 1916. To shorten their line, early in 1917, the Germans withdrew to a series of fortifications, known as the Hindenburg Line. As the 55th Battalion were consolidating gains made at Bullecourt, Harry was promoted to Pioneer Sergeant on the 11th of April. In August, he was transported to England, and contracted venereal disease. When he recovered, he was on command at a PT School in Devonport. He was still instructing soldiers until the 31st of December. In January 1918, he attended the 41st Army Course of Physical and Bayonet Training at Aldershot. He spent the remainder of the war instructing and training troops. He commenced his voyage home on the 23rd of June 1919.