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Soldier – Baxter D. – Darfield Soldier’s Splendid Record.

February 1918

Mexborough and Swinton Times February 9, 1918

Darfield Soldier’s Splendid Record.

Sergt.-Instructor D. Baxter, M.M., M.S.M., is over on a fortnight’s leave, and our Darfield correspondent had an interesting chat with him on Tuesday evening, when he related to him some of his experiences at the Front which had gained for him such distinguished honours.

Previous to joining the Army, Sergt. Baxter was employed as a miner at the Houghton Main Colliery, and when the call was made for experienced miners to volunteer their services for work in the tunnelling section of the Royal Engineers, Sergt. Baxter, despite his being fifty years of age, offered his services, and was accepted on Sept. 20th, 1915.

He arrived in France on the 2nd of the following month, and in about a fortnight’s time was sent to work in the front line section, where he has been employed at regular intervals from that time until early this year. The work at which he has been engaged has been of a hazardous nature, and practically all the time he has been subjected to particular attentions from the enemy in the nature of raiding parties and shell fire.

He has taken part in most of the operations and battles on the Somme front, at all times showing conspicuous bravery and attention to duty, which gained for him the praise of his Commanding Office

He took part in the big offensive on July 1, 1916, and for his services on that occasion was awarded the military medal, and then again, on January 1, 1917, was recommended for, and was granted the Meritorious Service Medal, both of which distinctions he highly prizes, and he is to be congratulated as being one of the few in this district to gain such high honour.

After passing through the above experiences he was given a staff appointment on Jan. 18 this-year, and is now acting as Sergt.-Instruc-tor to the 3rd Army Mine School.

Sergt. Baxter has two sons also in the Army, both having enlisted at the outbreak of war in the Barnsley Battalion of the Y. and L. Regiment. His son, Percy, was wounded in the July offensive, 1916, his wounds being of such a nature that he was finally discharged in March last year. Signaller Henry Baxter has been twice wounded in Franceā€”in July, 1916, and again in Feb., 1917, having been in hospital since the latter date.

Sergt. Baxter left a wife and large family to serve his country