Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Rifleman John Baxter



John Baxter was born at The Hermitage, Waringstown, County Down, the second of four children of National School teacher Francis Baxter and his wife Anna Maria (née McCandless). The family later moved to nearby Donaghcloney.By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Donaghcloney, County Down, with his parents and three siblings.

Baxter enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 7 June 1916, together with his older brother Ernest Baxter. He was issued regimental number 2191. He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp until November 1916, when he and around 100 other North Irish Horsemen, including his brother, volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles. The formal transfer took place on 7 December (Baxter was issued regimental number 40854), and on that day the men embarked for France. There they were posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, joining it on the Somme front on 12 December.

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:

16TH AUGUST 1917 AGE 28



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