BAXTER, Cecil Ronald
(Service number (2) 2202413)

Aliases Known as Ronald
First Rank (2) Private Last Rank Private


Date 22 November 1892 Place of Birth Ashburton

Enlistment Information

Date (2) 30 March 1918 Age (2) 25 years
Address at Enlistment (2) Sedgwick, County Kansas, USA
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience (2) 1 year 6 months as Private in the Infantry (British)
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin (2) Isaac W. BAXTER (father), Geraldine, New Zealand
Religion Protestant
Medical Information (2) Slender build. Tall. Brown hair. Blue eyes.

Military Service

Served with (1) Canadian Forces; (2) USA Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Company L, 353rd Infantry 89th Division
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Date (2) 4 June 1918
Transport (2) Pyrrhus
Embarked From (2) Brooklyn, New York, USA Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Service Medals
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date (2) 15 April 1919 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Possibly nil


Date *September 1977 Age 84 years
Place of Death Hawaii
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Cecil Ronald Baxter, known as Ronald, was born on 22 November 1892 at Ashburton, the second son of Isaac William Tyrrell Baxter and his first wife, Mary Elizabeth née Treeby. Isaac and Mary married in 1890 at Ashburton. There six children were born to them. Ronald and his older brother Edgar were admitted to Gore School in 1899, when Isaac was a journalist there in the printing trade. He had been appointed editor of the “Southern Standard”, Gore. After only six months, the family returned to Ashburton in 1900, where Edgar attended Hampstead School, as surely would have Ronald. After Mary Elizabeth died in October 1900, Isaac married her sister Caroline Ellen Treeby. Caroline died in 1902 at the birth of twins who also died. Isaac took a newspaper position at Southbridge and married Florence Harrison in 1903 at Leeston. He had taken over the “Ellesmere Guardian”. In 1904 Isaac served on the Southbridge School Committee. Perhaps Ronald attended school there. Isaac and Florence had ten children. Later in 1908 the family moved to Timaru.

The Police Gazette of 9 September 1908 carried an inquiry from the father of Cecil Ronald [Roland] Baxter. In 1908 Isaac and Florence and their family had moved to Timaru, and he was anxious to locate his son. Cecil Ronald Baxter – 16 years old, 5 ft. 10 in. tall, farm hand, native of New Zealand, slim build, dark hair, dark eyes, dark complexion, dressed in dark-grey suit, slovenly gait – was last heard of at Mr Dixon’s farm, Totara Valley, on 31 July 1908. The Gazette of 10 November 1909 reported that Cecil Ronald Baxter had been found by an Eltham constable and was working for a farmer at Oakura. In 1911 Isaac was at Geraldine and in 1912 when he was with the “Temuka Leader”, he was adjudged bankrupt.

New Zealand born Ronald Baxter, 20 years old, a farm labourer, and Protestant, arrived at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, by the “Marama” on 24 June 1913. He crossed from Canada to the USA, arriving at Oroville, Washington, in September 1913. His next-of-kin was his father – Isaac Baxter, Temuka, Canterbury, New Zealand. The 1930 United States census recorded that he had immigrated in 1912.

Edgar Tyrrell Baxter, who was the older brother of Cecil Ronald, had left with the Main Body and was killed in action at Gallipoli on 8 August 1915. He was first reported wounded on 8 August before it was confirmed that he had fallen. The newspapers reported that Mr I. W. T. Baxter, of Temuka, had two other sons at the front, the Timaru Herald noting that one was a member of the Canadian Contingent now in France. The third son, William Garland Baxter, had embarked with the New Zealand forces on 14 August 1915. The Taranaki Herald (Lance-Corporal E. T. Baxter’s grandmother lived in New Plymouth) reported that two younger brothers were also at the front, “Ronald, fighting with the Canadians in France, and Willie, who left with the Sixth Contingent.” No record with the Canadian forces has been identified for Cecil Ronal Baxter. Did he use an assumed name?

It appears that Ronald registered for World War One service for a second time. Ronald Baxter - born on 22 November 1893 [sic] at Ashburton, New Zealand; residing at Sedgwick, County Kansas, USA (1917-1918); home address – Ashburton, Canterbury, New Zealand; alien; farmer at Payne Township; single; slender build, tall, brown hair, blue eyes; had served 1 year 6 months as Private in the Infantry (British). (No record identified at UK Archives.) He enlisted on 30 March 1918 at Omaha, Nebraska. 2202413 Private Ronald Baxter departed from Brooklyn, New York, per the “Pyrrhus” on 4 June 1918. He was serving with Company L, 353rd Infantry 89th Division. His next-of-kin was his father – Isaac W. Baxter, Geraldine, New Zealand. He was discharged on 15 April 1919 at Camp Dodge, Iowa. Ronald Cecil Baxter was 31 years old and residing at Sawtelle, California, when he was admitted to the National Home for Disabled Soldiers on 22 May 1924. He was 6 feet 1 inch tall, with fair complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair. His disabilities included pyorrhia, chronic tonsilitis, gun shot wound of left hand, etc. He was Protestant and his nearest relative was his father – William Baxter, Temuka, New Zealand.

In 1930, Ronald Baxter, a war veteran, was living at the Pacific Branch National Military House at Los Angeles. He married Letitia H. De Crescenzo née Watson on 20 June 1932 in Orange County, California. Letitia was born in 1888 in Canada. Letitia was a saleslady in Los Angeles in 1930, her daughter and son with her. She had married Camillo De Crescenzo in 1909 but was divorced by 1930. Ronald was in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1940, with no income from employment but from other sources. Although he stated he was married, Letitia Baxter was at Long Beach, Los Angeles, and divorced. In 1950 Ronald Baxter, a World War One veteran and divorced, was resident at the Army & Navy Y.M.C.A., a hotel on the Island of Oahu, Honolulu. A World War Two Draft Registration Card., signed by Ronald Baxter (49 years, born 11 November 1892 at Ashburton, New Zealand) recorded him at a Honolulu address. He was a beneficiary of U.S. Veterans Bureau, and Veterans Administration, Federal Building, Honolulu, would always know his address.

Ronald Baxter (born 22 November 1892 at Ashburton, New Zealand) and his wife Letitia Baxter (born 27 September 1891 at Dundas, Ontario, Canada) sailed from Auckland, New Zealand, on 9 May 1933 by the “Mariposa”, arriving at Honolulu, Hawaii, on 18 May. Their address in the United States was Long Beach, California. Ronald had been naturalized on 10 April 1919 at Des Moines, Iowa, while Letitia was naturalized by marriage, her husband being a US citizen (March 1913, Santa Barbara, California). Ronald and Letitia departed from Honolulu or San Francisco again on 12 June 1933 by the “Monterey” and arrived at Los Angeles, on 17 June. Ronald and Letitia sailed from Vancouver and Victoria on 7 March 1936 by the “Empress of Canada” and disembarked at Honolulu on 12 March 1936. Their address in the United States was c/o Bishop Trust Company, Honolulu.

Ronald Baxter (born 22 November 1892) died in September 1977 at Hawaii. Letitia Harriet Baxter died on 11 July 1971 at Los Angeles. Ronald’s father, Isaac William Tyrrell Baxter, died on 30 April 1947 at Temuka and was buried in the local cemetery. Merton Vivian Baxter, a much younger half-brother of Cecil Ronald Baxter, left Temuka in March 1936 for the United Kingdom, to take up a commission in the Royal Air Force. He had received all his training at Satlwater Creek Aerodrome, Timaru, and gained an A class licence in 1935. Sadly, he lost his life in an aircraft accident at Lewes Sussex, on 22 February 1938, just 22 years old. He was buried with full military honours in the churchyard at Tangmere where he had been at the RAF Station. William Garland Baxter, a brother of Ronald served with the New Zealand forces in World War One.


NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [16 August 2022]; NZ Times, 28 August 1899, Otago Daily Times, 25 April 1900, 24 February 1938, Ashburton Guardian, 1 December 1903, 20 June 1904, 27 September 1915, 24 February 1938, Timaru Herald, 25 March 1911, 3 January 1912, 6 September 1915, 2 April 1936, 21 August 1936, 20 October 1936, 8 October 1937, 24 February 1938, 19 March 1938, Auckland Star, 6 September 1915, Press, 27 September 1915, 19 March 1938, Mataura Ensign, 28 September 1915, Patea Mail, 29 September 1915, 18 March 1938, Taranaki Herald, 29 September 1915 (Papers Past) [16 August 2022; 25 September 2022]; Shipping records ( [10 September 2022]; NZ Police Gazettes, 9 September 1908, 10 November 1909 (Papers Past) [24 September 2022]; School Admission indexes (Southland Branch NZSG) [24 September 2022]; US World War I Draft Registration Cards (per [24 September 2022]; US Army Transport Service (per [24 September 2022]; US Veterans Administration Master Index (per [24 September 2022]; US National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (per [24 September 2022]; US World War II Draft Registration Card (per [25 September 2022]; 1930, 1940, 1950 US Census returns ( [25 & 26 September 2022]; US Social Security Death Index ( [25 September 2022]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC Genealogy Society

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