Clifford Roy BakerMC BSc was born at St. Catharines, Ontario, son of F.H. Roy Baker and Grace Edith (Newman) Baker. He was educated at St. Catharines Collegiate Institute and from 1939 to 1941 attended Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.
On 6 February 1942, he joined the army at the Officers Training Centre, Brockville, Ontario and was then posted overseas in March 1944 where he was attached to No. 5 Battery, 5th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. Lieutenant Baker landed in Normandy on 8 July 1944. He was promoted to Captain and served as Troop Commander (Forward Observation Officer) in advances through France, Leopold Canal and the Scheldt, Belgium and into Holland and Germany in the Reichwald and Hochwald Forests.
On 1st March 1945, B Company, Lake Superior Regiment (Motor) was ordered to take an objective in the gap of the Hochwald Forest. Captain Baker was artillery Forward Observation Officer with B Company. In carrying out other duties he took six enemy prisoners and sent them back under escort. He returned to his tank and when it was hit and on fire, despite constant enemy shelling, he calmly directed the efforts of his crew until they had the fire under control.
At the first light of dawn, the enemy launched a series of strong counter attacks. For three nights previous to the attack, Baker had little, if any, sleep for three days. However despite his fatigue, he remained and directed artillery support fire with such accuracy that the Allied force was able to hold its objective, the last firm base East of the gap and of vital importance to the final clearing of the Hochwald Forest.
For his gallant and distinguished service, Captain Baker was awarded theMilitary Cross (MC). He returned to Canada and in September 1945 received an Honorable Discharge at St. Catharines. He returned to Queen’s University and graduated in 1948 with a BSc degree in Civil Engineering.
He re-enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces in April 1948 and rose through the ranks to the position of Lieutenant Colonel and held several senior positions includingMilitary Advisor to the Canadian Ambassador to NATO. Baker retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in September 1971. He married Eleanor K. Schroder and they had two children: Richard (1944) and Susan (1949).