Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Rifleman John Baxter

 

 

John Baxter was born at The Hermitage, Waringstown, County Down, second son of National School teacher Francis Baxter and his wife Anna Maria (nee McCandless). The family later moved to nearby Donaghcloney.

Baxter enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast in June 1916 (No.2191).

In November 1916 Baxter, together with around 100 other North Irish Horsemen, volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles (No.40854). They embarked for France on 7 December, where they joined the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, on the Somme front.

On 16 August 1917 Baxter's battalion took part in the Battle of Langemarck, part of Third Ypres. The battalion war diary for the day listed 27 other ranks killed, 7 wounded and missing, 170 wounded, and 63 missing.

Rifleman Baxter was one of men killed in action that day. One record states that he was working as a stretcher-bearer at the time.

He is buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlanderen, Belgium, grave I.D.48. His gravestone inscription reads:

40854 RIFLEMAN
J. BAXTER
ROYAL IRISH RIFLES
16TH AUGUST 1917 AGE 28

 

 

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