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Tributes paid to MBE farmer and marksman

PUBLISHED: 12:30 22 December 2014

Edmund Baker

Edmund Baker

Archant

There was sadness at a carol service at Gipping chapel, near Stowmarket, earlier this month - the first for many years in which Edmund Baker had not taken an active role.

Mr Baker, farmer and England marksman who has died aged 81, lived at Old Newton all his life.

“Edmund loved Gipping chapel and knew every stone there,” said the Archdeacon of Sudbury, the Ven Dr David Jenkins, at a thanksgiving service attended by 400 people at Old Newton church.

The congregation included people from the farming industry, shooting clubs, police and the local community. The service was conducted by the vicar, the Rev Dr Liz Varley.

The funeral service took place earlier on Friday in the chapel, which was too small to accommodate more than family and neighbours in the hamlet.

Mr Baker farmed land around headwaters of the River Gipping, as his ancestors had done for many generations. The Stowmarket rural dean, the Rev Canon Barbara Bilston gave the address.

In 1957, Mr Baker joined Suffolk special constabulary.

He went on to become divisional commandant and later assistant chief commandant. The Queen made him an MBE at Buckingham Palace in 1996.

Mr Baker took up rifle shooting while still at Framlingham College and he shot for England at Bisley.

He was president of Suffolk County Rifle Association, chairman of the full bore section and secretary of the pistol section.

He served on regional committees of the NFU and the old Milk Marketing Board. Nearer home he was a parish councillor and a member of the community council.

Only a few weeks before his death Mr Baker and his wife received long service awards from the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich for their support of Gipping Chapel.

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