Maj. GWG Baass/Baillie RA 6th HAA Regt

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by Patwalker, Mar 14, 2021.

  1. Patwalker

    Patwalker Junior Member

    I am trying to find details of this Officer from any source. He Joined Princess Beatrices Isle of Wight Rifles in WW1 as a 2nd Lt, but around 1917 moved to the Royal Artillery. He worked his way up the ranks but stayed as Lt Col Baass till Sept 1941 when he changed his name to GWG Baillie. By this time he was the CO of 6th HAA Regt. He stayed with them till they became engaged in actions against the Japanese in Sumatra and Java at which point he left for India
    My only details so far are recorded in the Book 6th HAA Regt RA but there has to be more of his career than this. A photo of him or contact from relatives would be most useful. It is a rather unusual name and must be recorded somewhere.
    Patrick Walker
  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Presumably him, seems to be mentioned quite a bit, where have you looked so far?

    Record set British Army, Royal Artillery Officer Deaths 1850-2011
    Rank Lt Col
    First name(s) G W G
    Last name Baillie
    Birth year 1896
    Age 59
    Death year 1955
    Death date 19 Apr 1955
    Place Camberley

  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Lt-Colonel Geoffrey William Gray Baillie (formerly Baass) was born in Forest Hill (Lewisham) on the 31st of August 1895.

    It is not clear who his father was but his mother Maud Gray Baass was living in Oxted in Surrey in 1901 with Geoffrey his younger sister Ettie and his older sisters who were born in Australia.

    They are likely related to Andrew Henry Julius Baass who was the Austrian Consul in Sydney in the 1870s.

    In 1911 he was a boarder at the United Services College in Windsor in Berkshire.

    He joined the Royal Artillery serving in France and Belgium during WW1. He was made Captain in October 1926 and Major in November 1935.

    He married Norah Grimshaw Greer at Kensington in 1933.

    In 1941 he gave his address as Bishton Manor in Albrighton in Shropshire when he changed his surname from Baass to Baillie.

    Post-WW2 they moved to Camberley. They lived at a house known as Strathmore in Upper Gordon Road in Camberley.

    Geoffrey was living there in 1955. He died on the 19th of April 1955 and was buried at Frimley on the 31st of August.

    His widow was living in Onslow Square in London after his death. She died in Switzerland in March 1964.

    Research: Mary Ann Bennett
    Photographs: Whispyblink



    Geoffrey William Gray Baillie (1895-1955) - Find...
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    You could apply for his service records there may be a photo in them - Request records of deceased service personnel

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
    Name: Geoffrey W G Baillie
    Death Age: 59
    Birth Date: abt 1896
    Registration Date: Apr 1955
    [May 1955]
    [Jun 1955]
    Registration Quarter: Apr-May-Jun
    Registration District: Surrey North Western
    Inferred County: Surrey
    Volume: 5g
    Page: 656


    6 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA - The Royal Artillery 1939-45

    Cant find any family trees on Ancestry that include him
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
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  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

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  6. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    War Office: First World War Representative Medical Records of Servicemen

    First name(s) G W G
    Last name Baass
    Birth year 1895
    Age 21
    Admission year 1916
    Admission date 30 Nov 1916
    Hospital 2nd General Hospital
    Disease Neurasthenia
    Rank Second Lieutenant
    Company / squadron 23 Btty
    Corps Royal Field Artillery
    Transferred to HS Gloucester Cas
    Transfer year 1916
    Transfer date 02 Dec 1916
    Piece MH 106/1004
    Register type Hospital admission and discharge registers
    Description British officers.
    Record year range 1916 Sept. 4-Dec. 31

    First name(s) G W G
    Last name Baass
    Birth year 1895
    Age 21
    Admission year 1916
    Admission date 02 Dec 1916
    Hospital Queen Alexandra's Military Hospital At Millbank
    Disease Neurasthenia
    Rank 2nd Lieutenant
    Service number -
    Corps Royal Field Artillery
    Transferred to 11 Palace Green
    Discharge year 1917
    Disharge date 27 Mar 1917
    Piece MH 106/1664
    Register type Hospital admission and discharge registers
    Description British Expeditionary Force, officers Colonials, Nurses and Royal Navy.
    Record year range 1916 Nov. 16-Dec. 28
  7. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Capt G W G Baass, Royal Artillery, to be staff captain, 53rd (Wellsh) Division, February 7, 1934.
    Major G W G Baass, RA, from staff captain, 53rd (Welsh) Division TA, to be staff officer, RA Western Command, (GSO 3rd Grade), January 2, 1936
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  8. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    If anyone has Fold3 subscription

    UK, World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923
    Name: Geoffrey William Gray Baass
    Rank: LIEUT
    Record Type: Card
    Corps, Regiment or Unit: Royal Fusiliers
    Title: WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers
    Description: Officers Survived Ann E-Balkwill R ??
    Next of Kin:
    Name Relation to Soldier
    Geoffrey William Gray Baass


    UK, British Army Records and Lists, 1882-1962
    Geoffrey William Gray Baass 1922 Royal Artillery Lieutenant

    G. W. G. Baass 1940 Royal Regiment of Artillery Major

    G. W. G. Baass 1914 THE HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT 2nd Lieutenant

    Geoffrey William Gray Baass 1918 Royal Artillery Lieutenant

    G. W. G. Baass 1939 Royal Regiment of Artillery Major

    G. W. G. Baass 1941 Royal Regiment Of Artillery Major

    Geoffrey William Gray Baass 1917 Royal Artillery Lieutenant

    Geoffrey William Gray Baass 1916 Royal Artillery 2nd Lieutenant

    G. W. G. Baass 1932 Royal Regiment of Artillery Captain

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  10. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    His career is easy to track in the Gazette as Baass - there are 25 mentions of him, including those for the name change, but Baillie will take more patience.

    He is listed as a Major in the Coast Defence and Anti-Aircraft Branch in the October 1941 edition of the Army List as Baass;
    and as a Major and temporary Lieutenant Colonel in the Coast Defence and Anti-Aircraft Branch in the next, January 1942, edition as Baillie.


    He finished the war as a Major and honorary Lieutenant Colonel.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
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  11. Patwalker

    Patwalker Junior Member

    My word to all of you.!! You certainly have a lot more researching powers and resources than I have ever imagined!
    It is very interesting . My main interest was for what he did after leaving Java to go to India in March 1942
    The icing on the cake would be to find the picture of him. He does not appear in any records at the RA museum at Larkhill .despite having been in the RA for many years.. I visited Bishton manor several years ago when researching the book on the 6th HAA and they had no records other than the owner saying he thought during the war there had been American service people there as well. It is a lovely old manor with stone floors and beamed ceilings and very beautiful. It is not that far from RAF Cosford where most of them worked. The Officers had the best part and the men were squeezed into multiple bunks in a near by barn.!! They also had a tented area for others close to the house. Quite a variety of posts from all the bits and pieces you have discovered for me. I knew he had been born in Australia but the possible Fathers connection is also very interesting. I will thank you all again and will now try and digest all the new information you have discovered. He was a temporary Lt Col when in Java but reverted to Maj on his posting to India. 6th HAA was taken over for the rest of the war by Maj Hazzell and sadly this was all spent in Japanese POW camps. so hardly an inspiring career for him. Losses from Japanese treatent caused them hundreds of casualties, far more than from being in action.
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  12. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Hi Patrick,

    Good to see you are still researching 6 HAA. I'd love to see Baillie's/Baass's, service records. The burning question is how did he get away, when none of his men did. His men suffered, as did all who were captured by the Japanese.


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  13. Patwalker

    Patwalker Junior Member

    Dear Robert, Thanks for the help to discover this mans story. I have kept quiet so far as to how he got away and his men did not. Sadly when Gen .Sitwell took over in Java he was not impressed by Lt Col Baillie and relieved him of his command
    Baillie then was flown out from Andhir ? and joined a ship on its way to India.. He got out by a whisker and got to India where I have no idea what he did. As we know his Unit 6th HAA were all captured by the Japanese in Singapore and Sumatra and Java and had the hell of three and a half years of Japanese treatment.. I have no doubt it finished his career.
    What I am keen to try and find is the photograph mentioned by Timuk. This would be the icing on my cake to see the man who I have read about and followed in the Far East.
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  14. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Looking at the Army List further, he doesn't appear to have relinquished his temporary rank until the 2nd quarter 1944, which may have more to do with the changing priorities and the scaling back of his branch than any issues arising from Java two years previously.

    I noted also that Sitwell, who was a temporary Brigadier and local Major-General, held the substantive rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the same branch as Baillie, so maybe there was already some animus between them. Perhaps you could share your source with the group.
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  15. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    You may be right. I notice that the photograph I referred to at #8 also contains Capt HDW Sitwell. They were therefore both of the same rank and on the same Staff Course at Sandhurst in 1931 so will have known each other before Java.

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  16. Patwalker

    Patwalker Junior Member

    I did notice too that one name in the photo if we can find a copy is that of Lt Col AE Percival. ( of Singapore fame )
    I have no details of the two Captains knowing each other before Java other than what has been pointed out.. II came across the report written after the war by Gen Sitwell and he states " ...I was not impressed by Lt Col Baillie so relieved him of his Command " This was at the height of the preparations to ward off the impending Japanese invasion of Java.
    Again many thanks of all the help given so far.
  17. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Slight disagreement with MAB, I believe that Geoffrey's mother was Marian Grace, born 26 August 1856, in 1939 she is a widow living at Homelands Hotel, Brighton.

    My quick interpretation of the family is:
    Marian Grace Baillie married William MacDonald Maciver Campbell in 1878, Victoria, Australia.
    James R Baass married Marian G Mcs Campbell in 1892, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

    The key census is 1901
    Maria G Baass / Head / Single / 43 (c1858) / Living On Own Means / Victoria, Australia
    Elizabeth G ? Campbell / Daughter - 21 (c1880) / Victoria, Australia
    Marjorie W Bass / Daughter / 7 (c1894) / Victoria, Australia
    Geoffrey W Baass / Son / 5 (c1896) / Forest Hill
    Effie Pa Basse / Daughter / 3 (c1898) / St Leonards on Sea, Sussex

    In 1911 Marian (age 50 and a widow) ) is living with her daughter, Marjorie Helen Mary Baass (age 17). The census states that she had 4 children, all still living.

    The Australian birth record for Elizabeth Grace Campbell (1879) gives the father as William Mcdona and the mother as Marian Grace Baillie.

    The GRO birth records for Geoffrey and Effie Patricia give the mother's maiden name as Baillie.

    There is a death for Marian Grace Baass 1942, St Albans, Hertfordshire. She died 8 October 1942 and Probate on 27 November 1942 was to her daughter Marjorie Helen Mary Baass.

    Note that the Australian records mentioned above are from transcriptions, certificates will be needed to positively confirm, they can be ordered online, but if nothing else I believe it shows where his change of name to Baillie came from.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2021
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  18. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Duplicate post.
  19. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Post deleted. Bad day with computer/brain!
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2021
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  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    A very bad day I would say - we all have them and they become more common the older you get

    But keep smiling :)

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