Baldwin, Christopher Melfort (1905-1940)
Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who died in the Second World War, 1939-1945.
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Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.
Details: Christopher Melfort Baldwin (1905-1940), born at Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on 27 December 1905, son of Brigadier-General Guy Melfort Baldwin DSO (Indian Army, Queen's Own Corps of Guides) and Christine Baldwin, of Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex (formerly of Yateley, Hampshire and Peshawar, India).
Attended: Sherborne Preparatory School.
Attended Sherborne School (Lyon House) May 1920-July 1924.
Sandhurst; Middlesex Regiment; Trans-Jordan Frontier Force.
WW2, Major, 1/7th Bn., the Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own). Awarded the MBE. He was hit by shrapnel and was put into a lorry but the road was so blocked that it could not proceed. It was later presumed that he had died from his wounds on 1 June 1940.
De Panne Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, Plot 1. Row C. Grave 28. Inscription on his headstone: ‘THEIR SPIRIT MUST BE OUR BANNER, THEIR SACRIFICE, OUR SPUR’ www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2082147/BALDWIN,%20CH...
Sherborne School: War Memorial Staircase; Book of Remembrance; Lyon House roll of honour.
Obituary in 'The Shirburnian', December 1944: 'Christopher Melfort Baldwin was killed in Flanders in the great retreat. In a letter to the "Times" a brother Officer wrote: "He joined in everything, though England and things English, riding to hounds, boxing, shooting and Rugby Football made a special appeal. His charm of manner was infectious, affecting old and young alike wherever or whenever they had the good fortune to meet him." As an Old Boy he was very anxious for Sherborne to start a pack of beagles and it was difficult to persuade him that there was little time or opportunity. What his brother Officer wrote of him will be confirmed in every particular by those who knew him here.'
His housemaster, A.H. Trelawny-Ross, wrote in the Lyon House letter (July 1942): 'There can be no doubt now that Kit Baldwin died in Flanders. In a letter to the Times a brother officer says, "He joined in everything, though England and things English, riding to hounds, boxing, shooting and Rugby football, made a special appeal. His charm of manner was infectious, affecting old and young alike wherever or whenever they had the good fortune to meet him." Those who knew him here will agree, and I most of all.'
Lyon House letter (July 1941): 'Mrs Baldwin writes: "Kit was hit by shrapnel in the early morning at La Panne, was put into an ambulance which went into a lorry. He was lifted out and put into another lorry which went about two miles and then the road was so blocked it could not proceed. That is all we know. He was Second in Command of the 1/7 Middlesex Regt. and his Colonel said he could never repay him... he was magnificent in action."
Old Shirburnian Society Annual Report, October 1942:
'Baldwin, Christopher Melfort (g 1920-1924). He went to Sandhurst after leaving school and on passing out was posted to the Middlesex Regiment and was serving with it as Major at the time of his death. He was posted as Missing after Dunkirk but now he must be presumed as having been killed in action. A correspondent in The Times writes as follows: "His very presence was always an inspiration and a tonic. He was quite imperpurtabable. No matter what manner of crisis might involve him or those with him, his never failing cheerfulness and optimism, combined with a courageous common sense, seemed to enable him to carry it off with a complete indifference - just a shrug of the shoulders, a broad grin, and an instinctive decision, which gave him and those with a practical and happy solution. The crisis might never have existed. He was a splendid companion, and enjoyed whatever life might have to offer to the full. He joined in everything, though England and things English - riding to hounds, boxing, shooting, Rugby football - made, as we remember, a special appeal. His charm of manner was infectious - affecting old and young alike whatever and whenever they had the good fortune to meet him. Many are the occasions when newly joined or attached officers have later expressed a happy and grateful memory in having found themselves posted to his company. We have lost a grand fellow; one whom we can ill afford, and one whose loss we mourn deeply." '