Person NameBaker; Sir; Herbert (1862-1946); architect and author
Epithetarchitect and author
SourceThe information in the above entry has been used with permission kindly granted by Gavin Stamp, author of Silent Cities (London: Royal Institute of British Architects, 1977)
Biographical NoteSir Herbert Baker KCIE FRIBA RA was a British architect and author. Baker was one of the Commission's Principal Architects in France after the First World War.

He was born on 9 June 1862. He was an assistant to Ernest George, then left for South Africa in 1892 where he was strongly influenced by Cecil Rhodes. Whilst in South Africa, Baker designed the Kimberley Memorial (1904), the Rhodes Memorial (1905-08), the Union Buildings at Pretoria (1910-1912) and a myriad of private houses, churches, etc.

In 1913, Sir Edwin Lutyens (a future fellow Principal Architect of the Commission) invited Baker to assist him at New Delhi for the design of the Secretariats and Legislative Assembly.

In 1917, Sir Fabian Ware invited Baker to visit the battlefields for the Imperial War Graves Commission. Baker was then appointed as one of the Commission’s Principal Architects on 5 March 1918. Whilst working for the Commission, Baker supervised the design of 112 cemeteries and designed many of the Commission’s iconic memorials to the missing, including those at Tyne Cot, Passchendaele, Dud Corner, Loos, Neuve Chapelle (Indian) and Delville Wood (South African). Baker was also partly involved with the design of the Commission’s headstones.

He left the Commission on 31 March 1928.

After his work with the Commission, Baker designed the war memorials at Canterbury, Winchester College, Harrow School, Haileybury College and Blackmoor (Hants). Subsequently he designed India House, London (1928-3); South Africa House (1935); Rebuilding of Bank of England (1921-37); Church House, Westminster (1935-39).

Baker was knighted in 1926.

He died on 4 February 1946, aged 83.

Add to My Items

    Showcase items

    Explore some of our main archive collections below