Great War Veteran: Arthur Blain Baker

ButtonArthur Blain Baker was born May 2, 1889 (January 15, 1887 according to death certificate) at Liscomb to Elizabeth Rudolph (1847-1926) and William Baker (c.1838-before 1901) of Liscomb, NS. He was raised with nine siblings: Abner, Margaret, Zebah, Alexander, Matilda, William, Caroline, Charles and Henry ‘Kenneth’.

Arthur’s parents Elizabeth Rudolph and William Baker were married October 7, 1867 at St. Mary’s River by Banns, Epic Church. William, age 29, was a fisherman and a bachelor, living at Liscomb Harbour. He was born at Liscomb, the son of Elizabeth and George Baker (fisherman).

Elizabeth Rudolph, age 19, was a spinster, living at Little Liscomb, the daughter of Lucy Mailman and Alexander Rudolph (fisherman).

Found in the 1871 Canada Census, Arthur’s parents and older siblings lived in Marie Joseph. Elizabeth (22) and William (30), a fisherman, were married with three children: Abner (10), Margaret (8) and Zebah (2). The ethnic origin of the family was Dutch.

Found in the 1881 Canada Census, Arthur’s parents and older siblings still resided in Marie Joseph. Eliza (30) and William (38), a fisherman, had seven children: Abner (19), Margaret (16), Zeba (9), Aleck (Alexander; 7), Matilda (5), William (3) and Caroline (2). The ethnic origin of the family was recorded as German. Abner fished with his father.Sample 01a

Found in the 1891 Canada Census, Arthur was three years old. His parents, Elizabeth (41) and William (51) were living in Liscomb. Seven of Arthur’s siblings were also living in the household: Zebah (21), Aleck (20), Matilda (18), William (15), Caroline (12), Charles (4) and Henry (1).

Found in the 1901 Canada Census, Arthur was 15 years old and lived with his family in Liscomb. His father had passed away, leaving Elizabeth (born October 30, 1845, age 55) a widow, living in Liscomb with Arthur and two other sons: Charles E. (born March 24, 1883, age 18) and Kenneth (formerly known as Henry; born December 8, 1890, age 11). Everyone is recorded as being born in Nova Scotia with German ethnic origin. They were members of the Church of England.

Elizabeth worked as a seamstress and made $50 a year. Charles was a mariner (or miner) and earned $100 a year.

Found in the 1911 Canada Census, Arthur (born October 1885; age 25) was living with his widowed mother Elizabeth (born March 1849; age 62) and brother Kenneth (born May 1888; age 23). In this census the family was recorded as Dutch and their religion Methodist. Elizabeth was unemployed. Arthur and Kenneth were both seaman at were at sea. They worked 35 weeks a year, 70 hours a week, earning $170 a year.

At the age of 28, Arthur was drafted into the Canadian Expeditionary Force and assigned the regiment number 3181419. At the time he was single and living at Liscomb. He made his mark beside his name on the attestation papers on October 29, 1917 at Sherbrooke, Guysborough County, NS. Albert Baker was drafted the same day. Arthur had no previous military experience, having been a sailor throughout his adult life. He recorded his mother as his next-of-kin.

Arthur was assigned to 6 M.D. 1st Depot Battalion Nova Scotia Regiment. At the time he stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall. His complexion was fair. He had blue eyes and dark brown hair. It was noted that he had a “scar below right knee; scar below left groin”. He reported for duty at Halifax on April 3, 1918.

It is not known if Arthur served overseas. The Great War ended seven months later. It is not known at this time if the Charles Baker, also found on the plaque at St. Luke’s Church, is Arthur’s brother. After the war, Arthur returned home and worked as a sailor.

Found in the 1921 Canada Census, Arthur (age 35, single) is living with his widowed mother Elizabeth (age 72). They are recorded as Dutch and members of the Church of England.

In 1922, his brother Kenneth (age 30), an Ironworker in Halifax, married Leah Larter. A year later on January 18, 1923 at Sherbrooke, Arthur (age 33) married Mary Gaskill (age 23, of Liscomb, daughter of Annie Rudolph and Frank Gaskill of Port Medway; according to son’s obituary (below) it is Gaskell; she remarried to a Mailman after Arthur’s death). Together they had four children: Arthur Malcolm, Elliott, Truman and Russell.

On May 10, 1926, Arthur’s mother Elizabeth Baker passed away at Liscomb at the age of 78. The cause of death was Bright’s Disease. Her date of birth was give as October 3, 1847. She was the daughter of Lucy Mailman and Alexander Rudolph. Her son Arthur provided the information for the death certificate.

Arthur would not live to see his children grow. On February 24, 1927, at the age of 40, Albert passed away at his home in Liscomb. He was buried in St. Luke’s Anglican Church Cemetery, Liscomb. His headstone reads age 41 years old, but his death certificate states age 40 (born January 15, 1887). The cause of death was listed as “perforation of stomach due to chronic gastric ulcer”.  At the time of his death he worked as a mariner. His service in the Great War is remembered on a plaque hanging in the church.


Did Arthur serve overseas? If so, in which locations?

Is there an image available of Arthur?

If you can fill in any of this information, contact Diane Tibert:

NOTE: To view the complete list of Great War veterans I’m researching for this book, visit 100th Anniversary: First World War.

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