BROOKS George Robert
Regiment : 46th Battalion Canadian Infantry
Service number : 472565
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : Killed in action aged 29 on 18th November 1916
Buried : Adanac Military Cemetery, Miraumont, France, Grave II. A. 35.
Relatives : Son of Mrs Ida Brooks, of Green Gates, Victoria Rd., Malvern Link, England, and the late Cyrus Edwin Brooks
Memorial : Malvern WW1 War Memorial
Enlisted November 1915.
Stationer’s Shop, Malvern link
Cyrus Edwin Brooks, head, age 59, Printer and Publisher, born East Stonehouse, Devon
Ida Brooks, wife, age 43, stationer, born Leigh, Worcestershire
George Robert Brooks, son, age 13, born Leigh, Worcestershire
Cyrus Harry Brooks, son, age 10, born Leigh, Worcestershire
Elizabeth Whilesmith, mother in law, widow, age 81, born Worcester, Worcestershire
George Brooks enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force on 1st November 1915 at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. On his attestation paper he gave his date of birth as 18th October 1887 in Malvern Link, Worcestershire, England, his current address as Saskatoon, Sask., his occupation as a farmer labourer and his next of kin as his father, Cyrus Edwin Brooks, “Greengates”, Victoria Road, Malvern Link, Worcestershire, England. George was 6 feet 1 inch tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair.
After initial training George sailed from Halifax, Canada on the SS Empress of Britain on 20th June 1916, arriving in England on 28th June. He proceeded overseas to France with the 46th Battalion on 30th June 1916. He was wounded in action on 24th August 1916, suffering a gunshot wound to his chin and returned to his unit on 26th September 1916.
National Archives of Canada Reference: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 1105 – 9
The Canadian War Graves Registry records the following information on Private George Robert Brooks, 472565:
“Killed in Action”
This soldier was rendering first aid to the wounded on November 18th 1916, crawling from between shell holes in “No Man’s Land”. Upon completing his work he crawled back to the trench, and as he was rising to climb over the parapet he was shot through the head by a bullet from the rifle of an enemy sniper, and killed.
Location of unit at the time of casualty: Courcelette (Regina Trench)
Appears in the Worcester/Worcestershire Roll of Honour Book for army casualties located in Worcester Cathedral.
Malvern Gazette, 2nd December 1916:
Pte George Brooks, Canadian Expeditionary Force has been killed in action.
Malvern Gazette, 9th December 1916:
Mr and Mrs Cyrus E. Brooks, Green Gates, Malvern Link, have received intimation that their son Pte George R Brooks, a Canadian Bn, was killed in action on the 18th November during an attack on a German position. Lt-Col H J Dawson writes: “His death is deeply regretted by his comrades and his commanding officer. I wish to convey my regret at the loss of a brave soldier and to express sympathy with you in your sorrow.”
Cpl G. Tomkinson, a comrade writes:
“He was killed in the performance of his duties which he always fulfilled to extreme conscientiousness. He was highly thought of by the platoon to which he was attached and others have also spoken of his sterling qualities. Without a doubt I have lost the best man in my section. He had my respect because of his steadfastness to duty and his belief in the fact that this is a righteous War. He carried on to the end in this spirit, in spite of his abhorrence of war and its necessary suffering. I am requested by his comrades to tender to you and all his relations their sympathy and regrets.”
Brooks emigrated to Canada in 1906. He joined the Canadian Infantry and came to England in June 1915. He made a short visit to Malvern Link during his stay, before proceeding to France in August. Soon after entering the front line he was slightly wounded. Whilst in Malvern link he was associated with the Free Church and Sunday School.
Malvern Gazette, 17th February 1917:
Mr C.E. Brooks of Green Gates, Victoria Road, Malvern Link has received a letter from the Canadian Record Office stating that on the 18th November his son Pte George Brooks was rendering first aid to the wounded, crawling from shell hole to shell hole in No Man’s Land, throughout the day. Completing this work, he crawled back to the trench and was rising to climb over the parapet when he was shot through the head by a German sniper. He was buried in front of the line.
A photograph of Private G. Brooks of Malvern can be found in Berrow’s Worcester Journal Supplement, 16th December 1916, available at Worcestershire Archives.