Topic: In Search of a Baker
In 1972 the Baker family of East Anglia, Gate Pa, Tauranga, made a number of generous donations to the Tauranga District Museum including shrapnel taken from Battle of Gate Pa site, which was situated near their property on Coopers Road.
While the provenance of this important artifact was noted, nothing about the donors beyond their name and address was documented. Fortunately a number of the objects they donated provide tantalising clues as to who they were.
Amongst the items donated are over 100 postcards written to Mrs Baker resident of Great Holland Hall, Great Holland, Essex. These postcards sent between 1898 and 1916 give a picture of a farming family with Fred and Edith Baker the parents of six children, Charles, Eric, Stella, Fred, Mary and Lillian. A number of the postcards have been sent by the children from boarding school while several are from France in 1916 and have been stamped by army censors.
The 1901 census conducted in Essex lists two more children and Mrs Baker’s unmarried sister, Alice March as living at the Hall. The Baker’s occupied one of the grander houses in the village and were, perhaps, one of the more prominent families in the area. Their name and farm are both listed in the 1912 Kelly’s Directory of the area.
In 1916 they left Great Holland and in 1925 a single postcard was sent to East Anglia, Gate Pa, Tauranga. The name East Anglia is a generic term for the area of North Essex and no doubt their naming of the land was a reminder of home. Although records of the Baker family living in Coopers Road can be found in the 1960s and 70s the trail ends there.
If you think you are a descendent of the Baker’s of Great Holland Hall or could provide us with further information we would love to hear from you. Please contact the Tauranga Heritage Collection on (07) 5777 005.