Erected by Public Subscription
To the memory of I. J. Baker, L.R.C.S. L.M.
He endeared himself to all who knew him by the uprightness of his character, his sympathy of the suffering and especially his kindeness to the poor.
To many in afflicition he was a spiritual adviser and cheared the dying with his prayers and words of comfort.
By his good deeds, "He being dead yet speaketh."
A bust of Dr. Baker stands on top of a hexagonal shaft, which in turn sits upon a square base. He is shown in contemporary dress, with beard and moustache. He wears a bow tie and a rose in his buttonhole. The statue is surrounded by iron railings in front and a brick wall behind.
The statue was unveiled by the Rev. Alfred HOLLINGS, minister of Sedgley Congregational Church from 1876 to 1911. It had been built on land donated by John Waterhouse, and at the unveiling ceremony the deeds were handed over to Josiah WHITEHOUSE, Chairman of Coseley Council.
Dr James BAKER was a much loved local GP who visited everyone regardless of whether they could pay or not, and sometimes left them money for food or coal. He also knelt and prayed at deathbeds. At the unveiling of the memorial the streets of Hurst Hill were decked with bunting, large crowds were present and two brass bands played in a procession.
Sculptor : Charles R. DAVIS of Old Hill
|The unveiling of the statue of Dr Baker, Hurst Hill, 1914.
Photo with kind permission of Mr Trevor Genge
The area has always owed much to its doctors, who often worked without fees from those who could not afford to pay. Francis Brett Young wrote about such a personality in "Dr Bradley Remembers", which is set in Sedgley.
The cost of this statue was met by local public subscription from a grateful populace.
Back row, left to right: -?-, John W Baker (draper of Hollywell Street), S.K. Slater JP, Mr Dunton (Hurst Hill Board School headmaster), Albert Sherwin (rate collector), Albert Screen, Mr Cooper, Mr Swann (of the Miners Arms), Mr Golby (policeman).
Front row: Mr Waterhouse (screw manufacturer), K. Fellows, Revd A. Hulling (minister of Bilston Street Congregational church, Sedglev), Mr Pugh, Mr Etheridge (coal merchant), Samuel Wasdell (of The Boat Inn, Hurst Road).
Dr. Isaiah James BAKER was the son of William BAKER who was one of the first members of the Sedgley School Board in 1870. He lived in Holywell Street.
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