Skip to content

Frederick William Baker Young (1879-1928)

Died tragically while partaking in a prank at a regimental dinner in Liverpool.

Son of Col. Dr. Thomas Frederic Young and Mary Ellen Baker


Frederick William Baker (Baker was his mother`s maiden name) b.14 January 1879 Bootle, Lancs. Attended Greenbank School, Liverpool and then Merchant Taylors`, Crosby, Liverpool 1890-95. He was tragically killed in an accident while at a regimental dinner at the Park Hotel in Preston, where a prank went badly wrong. He was very involved with the RAMC (Territorial Army),and also the Masons. He followed his father into the medical profession and was a doctor in general practice until after the war he gradually relinquished his general practice and became a specialist in dermatology in Rodney Street, Liverpool. He married Grace Margaret McArthur in 1908 – there were no children. In 1911 they are living at 54 Merton Road, Bootle.

He received a full military funeral.

The following is an extract from his funeral report in the Liverpool Post & Mercury June 14 1928 obtained from Liverpool Record Office

‘ The funeral of Dr Frederick William Baker Young Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the 164th West Lancs. Field Ambulance who died on Saturday as the result of an accident at Preston, took place at St Luke`s Church, Great Crosby yesterday. The late officer was accorded military and Masonic Honours. In the procession first came the firing party, then the buglers and the bank of the 5th King`s (Liverpool). Next came the gun carriage provided by the 89th Field Brigade, R.A., followed by the G.O.C. of the 55th Division (Major General Burnett-Hitchcock). The remaining order of the procession was Lieutenant-Colonel Baker Young`s own unit, which was strongly represented, other ranks and various units of the 55th Division and general mourners.

Lord Derby, who sent a wreath, was represented by Major Milner. ‘The wreaths were so numerous that they had to be conveyed in two private motor-cars. On the coffin, covered with a Union Jack were the late officer`s helmet, sword, and medals and a beautiful wreath from his widow.’ The account goes on to give details of the pall-bearers. The vicar, in a brief address, said he had known Lt.Col. Baker Young at school thirty-three years ago. ‘He was a boy on whom one could depend and who did what he knew to be his duty and what was right. His subsequent career fulfilled the promise of his early days. When the call came in 1914 Lt. Col. Baker Young was not found wanting, and he did all he could as a medical officer during the war to help the wounded.’ The Chief mourners were: Messrs  M Newell, P McArthur, Mrs Peter McArthur, A douglas McArthur, Mr and Mrs Percy Bradley, Miss Norah Bradley, Mrs Good, E W Lovegrove, W A Buckley, J H Sunter, J P McArthur, Mrs Colin McArthur, G Bradley, R Bradley, H Bradley, O Bradley, H T Long, J A Newell, Mr and Mrs R T Golding. Captain Bridgewater, C Bridgewater, Professor W H roberts (also representing Mr A H Broad) and the Rev. J R Beresford (senior chaplain). There were many more military representatives and others.

The report in the Liverpool Daily Post Monday 11 June 1928 (obtained from Liverpool Record Office)

‘A Fatal Mess Game. Liverpool Doctor`s death at play.

Early on Saturday morning Lieut. Colonel F W Baker Young, officer commanding the 164th Field Ambulance of the West Lancashire Division (Territorial Army) lost his life while taking part in a game with brother officers at the Park Hotel, Preston.  He had attended a dinner at which Lord Derby was present, and as Colonel Baker Young and hs friends were about to retire to their rooms ”flying somersaults” were proposed in the hall.  In this game the player who is to perform the somersault bends down and puts his hands through his legs.  A companion grasps his wrists and, lifting the player from the ground, causes him to turn a somersault and land on his feet.  Captain Reynold Evans, of Liverpool, executed the turn successfully, amid much jollity, and then Colonel Baker Young came forward.  He slipped, however, and fell heavily on his head on the stone floor.  Despite every effort to revive him, he never regained consciousness, and died shortly after the arrival of a doctor.

Died Immediately.

An inquest was held on Saturday afternoon by Colonel H Parker, the coroner, himself a Territorial officer.  Captain R R Evans of Liverpool, describing the occurrence, said that when Colonel Young offered to take a somersault he bent forward and placed his hands between his knees.  Colonel Kennedy then bent over him and got hold of Dr. Young`s hands,m asking ”Are you sure your hands are not crossed?” to which Colonel Young replied that they were not.  Then Colonel Kennedy asked if he was ready and receiving a reply in the affirmative, lifted Colonel Young up off his feet.  When about four feet from the ground the latter slipped from his hands and fell on the back of the head on the stone floor, immediately becoming inconscious and passing away.  Dr Kennedy of Preston, said he at first gave his opinion of death as due to a fractured base of the skull, but on further  consideration thought it might be dislocation of the nexk.  It was very difficult to distinguish one from the other without further examination.  The affair was a pure accident in voluntary play, and all were quite sober.

Could Not Hold Him.

Captain A N Hargreaves, Ulverston, corroborated.  Lieut. Colonel Kennedy of Ulverston, said the only way he could account for the occurrenc ewas that Colonel Young must have had his wrists crossed.  ”I consider myself strong,” added witness, ”but I could not hold him.  He tore my grip and went away from me.  I could do nothing to stop him going.  He went backwards away from me on to his head.”  Witness said he had previously given him a flying somersault in camp.  The coroner said he was satisfied the affair was a pure accident and returned a verdict accordingly.  Lieut. Colonel Kennedy expressed his sympathy with the relatives.’