The Baker Brothers: Diaries from the Eastern Front 1914-1919 - Oliver Locker-Lampson and the Cromer Men of the Russian Armoured Car Division
Published 20 July 2018.
The Baker Brothers - Diaries from the Eastern Front 1914–1919 is the story of a private fighting force raised by Oliver Locker-Lampson, a resident of Cromer and described by one of his men as, “an opportunist with friends in high places”. His ardent patriotism was only matched by his politician’s flair for self-advertisement. With the support of his friend First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, a man not averse himself to the adventures of war, he used his personal funds and his business connections to equip a Squadron of armoured cars.
Amongst his recruits were the three Baker brothers. Together with friends from the town they found themselves in a war like no other, waged against a myriad of foes that included Kurdish brigands, Bulgarians, Turks, Persians, Bolsheviks and Austrians, as well as the Germans they had actually volunteered to fight. Their respective diaries and letters are woven together to enable us to re-live experiences that beggared belief; to journey with them into a world of medieval banditry and encounter “the horrors of war” on the blood-soaked marshes around the Danube. Their crowning achievement lay in the enduring stoicism and steadfast courage displayed by ordinary men caught up in extraordinary events. Their distance from formal army regulations enabled cameras to be used freely. William Baker was charged by Commander Locker-Lampson to keep a record in pictures and his album provides the core of the picture record which accompanies the diaries and letters.