Lieutenant Richard Baynes
1st Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
British Imperial Army
Died: 14 July 1916, Bazentin-le Petit, France
Richard Henry Beindge Baynes was born in 1889, the son of Richard Beindge Baynes
and Annie Augusta Baynes (nee Bell) of Fernhill, Mulgoa. His father had served on
Mulgoa Council since 1902, serving as mayor until 1912 and after its amalgamation
with Nepean Shire served on its Council until the family left the district in 1925.
Baynes graduated from Sydney University in 1914, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts
degree and a Diploma of Military Science. He was among the first Australian
university graduates to receive a commission in the British Imperial Regular Army.
Baynes was gazetted a second lieutenant in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 17
September 1914 and was promoted to temporary lieutenant on 24 October 1914.
He left Australia aboard P&O’s ocean liner SS Mooltan for London on 23 January
1915 where he would join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Wrexham. After 7 months he
was sent in command of a guard of 100 men to a fort on the Mersey, near Liverpool.
On 20 October 1915, Baynes was sent to France. He was killed on 14 July 1916,
leading his men at the taking of the village of Bazentin-le-Petit, during the Battle of
the Somme in France. Baynes’ was described as having ‘led his men most heroically
all day with great valor, and was leading a fierce charge when he received his fatal
call’. News of his death was announced in newspapers across Australia.
A brother, 20 year old George Nepean Beindge Baynes died in Kent, England in
1917 in the service of the British Army. Another brother Reginald Frank Beindge
Baynes trained as an aviator for the British during the war.
- Honor Roll, Thiepval Memorial, France
- Honor Roll, Penrith Superior Public School
Acknowledgment: Thank you to Peter Crocker (Director of the Royal Welch Fusiliers Regimental Museum, Caernarfon Wales) for providing information on Baynes military service.