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Friday, 23 February 2007

Valentine Baker

Sir John Craven Carden of Templemore, the fifth baronet, married in 1891 Sybil Baker, daughter of the famous cavalryman Lieutenant General Valentine Baker Pasha (1827-1887). The thumbnail alongside shows him with the then Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) reviewing the 10th Hussars, Aldershot, 8 September 1871. This painting is in the National Army Museum. Their son Valentine was the designer and manufacturer of the 1921 Carden Car and also of tracked vehicles and it is believed that the Valentine Tank was named after him. Valentine Baker was disgraced and forced to resign from the British Army after an incident with a young lady in a railway carriage, but had an amazing career with the Turkish army and elsewhere.
An excellent biography of Baker can be found in A Question of Honour, The Life of Lieutenant General Valentine Baker Pasha, by Anne Baker. is the full text of a book by Mrs Ernestine Sartorius called "Three Months in the Sudan". It tells of the time (November 1883 - January 1884) she spent in Suakin in the Sudan with her husband, while he was serving there under Valentine Baker. She mentions Baker frequently (she obviously admired him) and there is a good photograph of him with some of his fellow officers. This helpful comment was received from Stephen Hallam.

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