Henry Ernest Baggs

Rank Lieutenant
Service No Unknown
Date of Death 29/06/1918
Age 36
Regiment/Service Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 43rd Battalion
Cemetery Niederzwehren Cemetery, Kassel, Germany

Henry Ernest Baggs was born on 20th April 1882 in Islington to Charles Baggs, a solicitor’s clerk, and his wife Louisa, whom he had married in 1873. He had five siblings, Annie (b.1876), Hayder (b.1878), Herbert (b.1880), Charles (b.1885) and Kate (b.1887). Henry was a pupil at the Grocers' Company School (later known as Hackney Downs School) from 1893 to 1898, whilst he and his family were living in Wood Green. Upon leaving school, he worked as an insurance clerk.

Henry enlisted in August 1914, having previously spent some 8 years in the Rifle Brigade, 4th Battalion London Regiment. He initially served as a signalman, being a Lance Corporal in the 10th Battalion Royal Fusilliers and serving in the British Expeditionary Force from 30th July 1915 to 5th April 1916. He applied for a commission in January 1916, using Major John Newman (MP for Enfield from 1910 to 1918 and MP for Finchley from 1918 to 1923) as his character referee. He returned to the UK on 6th April 1916 and was discharged from the Royal Fusiliers on 25th September having become a Second Lieutenant on probation with the 43rd Battalion of the Machine Gun Corps. He returned to active service with the BEF on 16th December 1916, having 2 weeks' leave in the UK in July 1917. He was admitted to hospital with neuraglia in August 1917 but recovered and then had another 2 weeks' leave in the UK at the end of November 1917. 

He went missing at Grevillers, west of Baupame, on 24th March 1918, was captured by the enemy and died of wounds whilst held as a prisoner of war near Kassel. The German records indicated that Private Spargo, a chaplain, read the burial service.

Henry is also remembered on an individual plaque in St Saviour's Upper Holloway. The inscription reads: "In beloved and honoured memory of Henry Ernest Baggs, Sec. Lieutenant machine gun corps. Wounded in France, 24th March 1918, died in Germany 30th June 1918. A devoted worker amongst the boys of this parish. "I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith."