John Baker was born at Moreland’s Row in Belfast, Ireland on 21 March 1880.1 Hailing from a Church of Ireland family, he was the son of John Baker, a labourer, and Margaret Cairns.
Initially pursuing a career as a blacksmith, Baker was married in Belfast on 24 December 1899 to Margaret Leebody (b. 1879). The couple would go on to be the parents of ten children, the first arriving in 1900 and the last in 1918.2
The 1911 census shows John, his wife and one of their children living at 27 Cable Street in Belfast.
Baker joined Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked.
In later years he may have joined the Royal Naval Reserves (his youngest child’s birth record describes him as a “Navy Man”) whilst following WWI he worked as a stoker at sea for several years.
In September 1912 John Baker was a signatory of the Ulster Covenant, a petition signed by nearly 500,000 citizens opposing Irish Home Rule.
John remained in Belfast for the rest of his life, his final address being 5 Finmore Street. When his health declined he entered a Belfast sanitorium where he died on 17 January 1933 aged 52. His widow Margaret died in 1939 and they are buried together in Dundonald Cemetery (plot D1 438).
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