Dr Mark Gregory Baker AM

b. 10/12/1913 ?  d. 17/08/1955 Ticknall, Derbyshire.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 17/08/1955 Ticknall, Derbyshire.

Dr Mark G Baker AM

Baker was educated at Wrekin College and Sheffield University. He qualified as MRCS and LRCP in 1938. He held appointments in a medical practice in Leeds and the Children’s Hospital at Sheffield before moving to a GP practice in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire in 1939. He married a fellow doctor, Ailsa Atkinson, the same year, and they went on to have a son and a daughter. He was a keen rally driver and model engineering enthusiast. Following his death, his name was inscribed on its Roll of Heroes by the Carnegie Hero Fund Trust and the Ashby Urban Council opened a memorial fund to provide a medical scholarship at Sheffield Universiity.



About 8.30 on the morning of .the 17th August, 1955, two workmen, William Ward and Thomas Wileman, arrived at a farm near Ticknall in Derbyshire, to continue pumping out foul water from a well; a small pump driven by a petrol engine had been placed on a platform 40 feet down the well a few days before and had been set in motion. Ward went down the well but was rapidly overcome by the fumes from the pump and his mate Wileman, after shouting for help, went down the well to his aid but was also overcome. Shortly afterwards Dr. Mark Gregory Baker of Ashby de la Zouch arrived on the farm in response to a telephone call from a neighbour for help. Tying a rope round his waist and giving one end to two women to hold, he descended the well to a distance of about 25 feet but beginning to be overcome by the fumes he shouted to be hauled up. Unfortunately the rope became entangled with the cross supports of the well ladder some 20 feet below the surface and he could not be got out until members of the Derbyshire and Leicestershire fire services arrived about 9 o’clock with breathing apparatus. Dr. Baker’s body was recovered and artificial respiration applied but was unsuccessful; the other two men were dead before their bodies were extricated. Both Thomas Wileman and Mark Gregory Baker were aware of the risk they ran in going down a deep well at the foot of which a petrol driven pump had been running and the courage of each was of the highest order.