- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Personal symbol
- Department Arms and Technology
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1918/12/01
- Latest 1919/09/01
- Inscription (Star/Étoile): 477025 PTE D. BAIRD R.CAN.R.; (BWM & VM/MGB & MV): 477025 A. SJT. D. BAIRD. R.C.R.
- Support court mount
- Materials Bronze, Silver, Copper, Silkworm silk
- Service Component Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Unit Royal Canadian Regiment
- Measurements Length 10.3 cm, Width 10.7 cm, Thickness 0.3 cm
- Caption Medals Project- Baird, David
David Baird was born in Peterhead, Aberdineshire, Scotland, on 21 April 1893. His mother, known only as Mrs D. Baird, is listed as his next-of-kin, living on North Street, Peterhead. Before emigrating, David Baird served two years with the 5th Gordon Highlanders. It is believed he came to Canada in 1911. A 1921 Canadian Census lists a David Baird born in Scotland in 1893, arriving in 1911. The passenger list for the SS Numidian, leaving Glasgow on 4 March 1911, has a David Baird (grocer) as a passenger. However, by the time of his attestation in Halifax in 1915, joining the Royal Canadian Regiment, he listed his occupation as “drill hand”.
Baird was already in the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) by that time, likely having joined in Halifax in September 1914. His curious attestation date and dual service numbers underscores a peculiar footnote to the RCR’s history. On declaration of war in 1914 the British repatriated the Bermuda garrison (2nd Lincolns) for deployment to France and asked Canada to supply replacements. This was accomplished by the RCR which arrived in September 1914. This caused some legal difficulty as the men were technically members of the Militia and not liable for overseas service, and volunteers were requested to serve in Bermuda. The RCR served in Bermuda until 13 August 1915, when it was relieved by the 38th Battalion, and sailed for Halifax in the SS Caledonia. On arrival in Halifax a question was raised as to the legality of sending the Permanent Force militia for overseas service, so the entire battalion was re-attested over the 23-25 August 1915 time period, hence Baird’s 23 August 1915 attestation date. On the 26th of August the unit sailed for England on the Caledonia. This ship arrived in the United Kingdom on 5 September and the men were sent to the Shorncliffe area for training and re-equipping. It was during this time they were issued a new regimental service number (the RCR’s got the 477000 – 478500 block) replacing their previous permanent force number. After this brief training period, the battalion shipped to France on the SS Basil, arriving at Le Havre on 1 November 1915.
Baird was made Acting Lance Corporal on 2 December 1916. The promotion was confirmed a year later and bumped up to Acting Corporal. The main event in his service in France was his participation in the Vimy Ridge battle on 9 August 1917. The RCR’s were in the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade in the 3rd Division and assigned the capture of the Ecole Commune and later La Folle Wood. This was accomplished with some difficulty in places, despite the particularly effective artillery barrage. However, acting L/Cpl Baird was one of the many casualties - suffering a gunshot wound to the face and shoulder on the 9th of April. He was sent initially to No. 3 General Hospital in Boulogne and thence to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Monks Horton in Kent. His wounds were aggravated by recurring ear and eye infections and in October 1917 he was posted to Bramshot. By 18 October 1918 he was appointed as Acting Sergeant at the No. 3 Guard Detention Block there. However his medical condition had rendered him unfit for further service and on 22 November 1918 he was returned to Canada in the SS Aquitaine as Medically Unfit and he was discharged in Toronto on 23 December 1918.
He gave his discharge address as 353 Landsdown Avenue in Toronto. In 1921 he was living as a border on Parkdale Avenue with employment as a foreman. It is noted that he married a Mrs. Jesse T Baird and died on 14 January 1963.