INTRODUCING OUR VETERAN: EDWARD ‘TED’ BAKER
In 1991, a neighbour asked Comrade Ted if he would like to participate in a Coldwater Legion Parade and he said, “Yes, but I have no uniform.” The problem was quickly solved and soon thereafter, Ted joined as a Branch 270 Ordinary Member. In the ensuing years, Comrade Ted served and fulfilled the duties of many positions: 1st and 2nd Vice-President; Sick and Visiting Officer, Seniors Officer, Sergeant-at-Arms, plus he assisted with the care of the display case, the Membership board and several Poppy campaigns. In November 2016, Comrade Ted was recognized as a Life Member.
Comrade Ted recalls watching a military parade in the mid 1950’s and “I got hooked”. Along with a group of four-five friends he enlisted in the Army. Comrade Ted shared he had no idea what to expect at the time of his enlistment but he was excited to start a new adventure. Comrade Ted shared that he was in awe and “Amazed by the spectre of it all. I liked the way it was run; we were trained as a unit to work together as one.”
Looking back, Comrade Ted recalls with pride his Army days. As a member of the Queen’s Own Rifles, Comrade Ted was posted to Base Borden, the Toronto Armories, Petawawa and Niagara-on-the-Lake. It is here he was trained on the Bren gun. He proudly recalls he was #2 in his division on the rifle range and with the .303 Henry Rifle. While in service Comrade Ted sustained an injury which precluded his continued training as a sniper. With sadness, Comrade Ted retired from the military in 1956, and thereafter, married and pursued civilian life.
Comrade Ted recalls many pleasant moments while in service albeit not enamoured with battlefield training. He recalls his Sergeant Major making them aware that on the battlefield you have nothing which made the drinking of the offered warm milk more palatable. To this day, warm milk is not his favourite refreshment. Although trained as a Bren gunner, Comrade Ted was not witness to conflict or combat.
Comrade (Private) Ted was asked if his military experiences have influenced his thinking about peace or the military in general. Comrade Ted replied, “I believe in democracy.”
Bringing this interview home to Branch 270, Comrade Ted shared that many hands make for less work for the Executive and that the one remarkable attribute of our Branch is our friendliness.
We thank you for your service.