Now available for pre-order: Tank Man - The Life and Times of Captain Bert Baker is one of the most compete stories of one man's service with the Tank Corps.
Museum visitors will recognise Albert (Bert) Baker from the Tank Men exhibition, where he is featured alongside the Graincourt gun – his prize from the Battle of Cambrai.
His life up to that point had been confined to a small family dairy in south London. But like so many of those others, in the heat of battle he proved himself capable of extraordinary deeds of valour. Bert served in the trenches, but his wartime story is inextricably bound up with his service in the tanks.
The tanks had a painful infancy. But as an officer in the newly-created Tank Corps, Baker featured in two actions that helped establish it once and for all as a frontline weapon - winning a Military Cross in the first and a bar to it in the second.
Outside Ypres, Baker was part of the successful Cockroft raid. At Cambrai, tanks forced a spectacular advance that overcame the doubts of even the most sceptical commanders.
Drawing on Baker’s papers, Jonathan Baker tells his grandfather’s story from the eyewitness perspective of one of the first men to command a tank in battle.
Bert’s story is also a social history: growing up in the newly-emerging suburbia of London, the ins and outs of running an urban dairy, and his own post-war involvement, as a chemical analyst, in the efforts to produce milk that was safe to drink.
The publication is currently anticipated to be in stock mid October 2023.