In July 1916, Miss Lloyd-Baker of Hardwicke Court, Hardwicke, Gloucester wrote a letter to the local newspaper asking if any person had received any letters from soldiers in the Gloucestershire Yeomanry about the fate of her brother Captain Michael Granville Lloyd Lloyd-Baker. She asked if they would communicate directly.
In truth Captain Michael Lloyd-Baker had been dead since the 23rd April 1916.
Finally in October 1916, six months after he was killed in action, newspapers acknowledged the confirmation of his date; that on Easter Sunday 1916, he had been killed at Katia in Palestine serving with the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. Sometimes referred to as the Gloucestershire Yeomanry.
In truth, Captain Lloyd-Baker had been listed as missing after the battle at Katia on the 23rd April 1916; killed in the Yeomanry charge on the Ottomans. Hope was had that he had been taken prisoner of war by the Turkish forces. It was not until a Red Cross doctor present at the battle, also taken prisoner confirmed that the officer had died that the truth was finally revealed. Michael G. L. Lloyd Baker was a casualty of the Great War. Another letter received from a prisoner of war written to his father stated that he was in the charge at Katia and was by Captain Lloyd-Baker’s side when he received the mortal blows.
Born in 1873, he was the eldest son, married with two daughters. He had attended Christ Church College, Oxford and had been a prominent member of Gloucestershire society; magistrate, treasurer, farmer.
Captain Lloyd-Baker had fought at Gallipoli, where he had a slight eye injury when a bomb exploded. He swiftly returned back to Gallipoli after being patched up in Malta.
One can only imagine the heavy weight in hoping and praying for the safe return of this man to merely find out he had been dead all along. Miss Lloyd-Baker and the Duchess of Beaufort were both awarded for their work for POWs in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars after the war. His father wrote to the local Gloucester church diocese saying that he did not want a memorial window but rather to give an amount of money to go towards the church as a subscription on behalf himself and his late son.
Here at Hardwick, his memory is slowly fading with time. The Lloyd-Baker memorial lies adjacent to the Lloyd-Baker family grave which is bordered by an low iron barrier. The wording is eroding, no longer easily read:
Michael Granville Lloyd Lloyd-Baker Captain Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Yeomanry Born January 16th 1873 Married April 13th 1898 Gave his life for his country at Katia in Egypt April 23rd 1916 I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor things present nor things to come shall be able to separate us from the love of God
But the grand cross looms over the churchyard at Hardwicke. A reminder of one that once was.
He is named on the Jerusalem Memorial; his body undiscovered. But his identity remains on the Lych Gate at Hardwicke along with the others of Hardwicke who failed to make it home.
Mentioned in Despatches, Captain Michael Granville Lloyd Lloyd-Baker was killed in action on Easter Sunday 1916.