Cpl
James John Edbrooke

Information about birth

Year of birth:
1891
Place of birth:
Leichhardt, New South Wales, Australia

General information

Profession:
Bricklayer

Army information

Country:
Australia
Force:
Australian Imperial Force
Rank:
Corporal
Service number:
1699
Enlistment date:
23/05/1915
Enlistment place:
Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
Units:
 —  Australian Infantry, 20th Bn. (New South Wales)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
20/09/1917
Place of death:
Westhoek, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
26

Cemetery

Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Plot: XXIX
Row: D
Grave: 1

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 ‘Place of death’

My story

Corporal James John Edbrooke served in the Australian Infantry 20th Battalion, part of the 5th Australian Brigade, of the 2nd Australian Division. The 2nd Australian Division participated in the Battle of the Menin Road (20-25 September 1917), a stage in the Third Battle of Ypres. The 5th Australian Brigade attacked with the 20th Battalion and the 18th Battalion in support; the 17th and 26th Battalions were in reserve.
Moments before the allied artillery barrage opened, the German artillery started shelling the jump-off lines of the 20th Australian Battalion. At 5.40 a.m. the allied artillery barrage came down, followed by the advancing Battalions. When the 20th Battalion crossed the Westhoek Ridge the German barrage came down heavily on them, causing several casualties. Nevertheless the attack went on and the Battalion only encountered slight resistance, from a line of old concrete artillery shelters, causing a slight hold up. The men went on to the first objective and captured it around 7.30 a.m. Thusly the 20th Battalion had gained its objective and started to consolidate the line.
Enemy shelling was intermittent throughout the day and the next one, but the men held the line. The night was quit and the 20th Battalion was relieved from the frontline by the 19th Battalion on the following day.
Corporal James John Edbrooke was killed in action on the 20th of September 1917, during the Battle of Menin Road. He was buried in the field on the Westhoek Ridge, near the hamlet of Westhoek. The location of his initial grave may indicate that he fell near Westhoek, due to the German shelling on the ridge. His remains were exhumed after the war and were interred in Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood.

Files 2

Sources 7

"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 72-75.
Sources used
AIF-project
https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/search
Sources used
Australian War Memorial
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P10327414
Sources used
CWGC
http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/480204/EDBROOKE,%20JAMES%20JOHN
Sources used
National Archives of Australia
http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchScreens/BasicSearch.aspx
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/
Sources used
War Diary A.I.F. 20th Bn.
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1338583
Sources used