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William Henry Brookes

William Henry Brookes

Birth date: 
28 January 1881
Served with: 
United Kingdom Forces
Serial number: 
6062
Rank: 
Lance Corporal
Regiment: 
North Staffordshire Regiment

William Brookes was born at Penkridge in Staffordshire in 1881. After working as a farm labourer, William joined the North Staffordshire Regiment on 28 December 1899 and soon found himself on the way to South Africa to fight the Boer War with the 2nd Battalion (see photograph, taken on this date in Lichfield). He remained in the army after the war and served in India. At the outbreak of war in 1914, he was called from the reserves and joined th 1st Battalion in France, just in time to take part in the famous 'Christmas Truce'. William served through the battles of 1915-1916 in Belgium and was moved with his unit to take part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. During fighting in the devastated Delville Wood Sector in September 1916 received the second of his Military Medals as an immediate award. He was also wounded in the buttocks and invalided home where the served with the depot, training new recruits. Following the war he was a miner and was instrumental in setting up the local British Legion branch, but rarely talked of the war. He had two brothers who also served, Albert John (known as "Jack"), who served with the Northumberland Fusiliers at Gallipoli and in France. He died of pneumonia in 1916 and is buried in Cannock, Staffordshire. Edward Brookes, known as "Monobelle", served with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and was gassed within hours of entering the trenches for the first time during the Somme in 1916. His health never recovered. 

Author: simbath_63