- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Personal symbol
- Department Arms and Technology
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1919/07/26
- Latest 1919/09/01
- Inscription 506737 SPR. W. BAIRD C.R.T
- Materials Silver, Native copper, Silkworm silk
- Service Component Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Unit Canadian Railway Troops
- Measurements Length 10.3 cm, Width 7.2 cm, Thickness 0.3 cm
- Related activity Sapper
- Caption Medals Project- Baird, William
William Baird was born on 16 May 1888 in Berwick on Tweed in the United Kingdom to Ellen Baird. He married Jane Baird in the United Kingdom and had three children. The family emigrated to Canada in 1914, settling in Nanaimo, British Columbia, where a fourth child was born shortly after their arrival. Baird was a miner employed in the Nanaimo coal mines that had been producing steaming coal since the mid-19th century.
Baird attested to the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in Nanaimo on 5 June 1916 and was assigned to the 4th Tunneling Company of the Canadian Engineers. He shipped out to the United Kingdom in the SS Scotian arriving on 18 August 1916. Not long afterwards he commenced a year of transferring back and forth between the Canadian Engineering Reinforcements Depot and training units and various hospitals in the United Kingdom. He complained of various ailments but refused to cooperate with treatment. He frequently had bouts of illness, but the doctors could find little wrong with him. The diagnosis was gastric catarrh and neurasthenia. By January 1918 he seemed well and was transferred to the 13 Battalion Canadian Railway Troop in March, which had just been stood up at Purfleet. The unit shipped out to France on the 29th of that month. The 13th was employed repairing rail lines in the Somme district and by August was working on the Arras-Amiens railway lines. Baird was shipped back to the United Kingdom in March 1919 and then sent on to Canada at the end of the month. He was demobilized in Nanaimo on 5 April 1919, giving his discharge address as 3rd Townsite, Nanaimo, British Columbia.
Baird continued his occupation as a coal miner and is shown living in Nanaimo with his wife and family in 1921– a time of peak coal production. In 1953, he is noted as being retired and living with his wife on Rosehill Street in Nanaimo. He died in Saanich, British Columbia, on 24 June 1964 and is buried in the Nanaimo Municipal Cemetery.