Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Branston, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom

General information

Last known residence:
Greenwich, Kent, England, United Kingdom

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Woolwich, Kent, England, United Kingdom
 —  The Rifle Brigade, 7th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Veldhoek, Geluveld, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: 146.A

Distinctions and medals 4

British War Medal
British War Medal
Medal — 18/05/1920
Victory Medal
Medal — 01/09/1919
Victory Medal
Medal — 18/05/1920

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Walter Brooks was born on 01 July 1887 in Branston near Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire, the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Brooks. In 1891, they had 5 children; Walter had 3 brothers and 1 sister, of whom he was the middle one. In the 1911 census, we found Walter as a wheelwright at the Holmes family's Prestop Park Farm in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicester. He was later found to be living in Greenwich, Kent with his wife Nellie and daughter Gwendoline. He enlisted at Woolwich, Kent. Walter was assigned to the 7th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade, part of the 41st Brigade, 14th Division.

In October 1917, the 14th Division fought in Flanders. On 10 October 1917, the day after the disastrous Battle of Poelcapelle, the 7th Battalion relieved troops of the 15th Brigade, 5th Division, off Geluveld, near the hamlet of Veldhoek along the Menin Road. Their positions ran from the Menin road to the Reutelbeek. The relief was chaotic. Deep darkness and the poor condition of the paths caused delays, while German artillery shelled the supply lines. There were 40 casualties during the relief alone. The operations area was in tatters. There were no trenches, ditches had been dug connecting shell craters and some former German bunkers. In these rudimentary positions, the 7th Battalion lay under constant German shelling for days. The long-awaited relief followed on 16 October 1917.

Rifleman Walter Brooks, aged 30, was reported missing on 16 October 1917. Walter has no known grave to date. He is commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial panel 146 A.

Files 3

Sources 6

7th Battalion Rifle Brigade (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), WO 95/1896/1_2).
Sources used
British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), WO 372).
Sources used
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891 (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), RG12).
Sources used
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911 (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), RG14).
Sources used
Seymour W.W., The History of the Rifle Brigade in the War of 1914-1918, Vol II, Januari 1917-June 1919, (Uckfield,East Sussex, The Naval & Military Press Ltd. Ridgewood Industrial Park, 2007), 198-199.
Sources used
Soldier' Effects Records (Nationa Army Museum, Chelsea (NAM) 1901-60; NAM Accession Number: 1991-02-333).
Sources used

More information 3