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Honourable Guy Victor Baring (26 February 1873 – 15 September 1916) was a British Army officer and politician. He became a Conservative member of the British Parliament but was one of 22 Members killed in action in the First World War.

Background[edit | edit source]

Baring was a member of the Baring family of Barings Bank, a younger son of Alexander Baring, 4th Baron Ashburton (1835–1889) and his wife the Hon. Leonora Caroline Digby. He was educated at Eton College and Sandhurst, and joined the Coldstream Guards in 1893.

In 1899 Baring's unit was sent to fight in the South African War, and he was present at the battles of Belmont, Graspan, Modder River, Magersfontein, and Driefontein, as well as the occupation of Bloemfontein. During the fighting in South Africa he was mentioned in despatches, and received the Queen's South Africa Medal with three clasps.

Baring was the commander of a detachment of the Coldstream Guards in 1900 which went with the Australia and New Zealand Imperial Representative Corps to the inauguration of the Earl of Hopetoun as Governor-General of Australia. He was promoted to Captain in March 1901,[1] attached to the King's African Rifles and was a special service officer with the Jubaland Expedition in 1901 against the Ogaden Somalis and was awarded a medal with clasp.

Career[edit | edit source]

He was elected as the Member of Parliament for Winchester in the 1906 general election, and was re-elected in the January and December 1910 elections with increased majorities.

Although he had formally left the Coldstream Guards in 1913, he rejoined immediately on the outbreak of war in 1914. He was posted to Windsor where he commanded a training company, until July 1915 when he was posted to France. He was second-in- command of the 4th (Pioneer) Battalion; after the Battle of Loos he commanded the first Battalion of the Coldstream Guards;

Death[edit | edit source]

During the Battle of the Somme on the morning of 15 September 1916, Baring's Battalion were advancing along the Ginchy-Lesboeufs road to attack German positions, together with two others. It was the first time in history that three Coldstream Guard battalions attacked together, but despite advancing "as steadily as though they were walking down the Mall" the action took a heavy toll. 17 officers and 690 other ranks went into battle, but only three officers survived (one injured) and 221 other ranks. Baring was buried in The Citadel New Military Cemetery near Fricourt.

Family[edit | edit source]

Baring married on 16 July 1903 Olive Alethea Smith, daughter of Hugh Colin Smith and Constance Maria Josepha Adeane, and they had six children, including the cricketer Giles Baring. Their great grandchildren include the actress Rachel Ward and the actress and environmentalist Tracy Worcester.

References[edit | edit source]

  • Guy Victor Baring at thepeerage.com
  • Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition (1999), volume 1, page 120
  • Edward Whitaker Moss-Blundell, "The House of Commons Book of Remembrance 1914-1918" (Elkin Mathews & Marrot, 1931)
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Myers
Member of Parliament for Winchester
1906 – 1916
Succeeded by
Douglas Carnegie

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