Private Arthur Brooks

Date of Birth c.1892
Age at Death 26
Date of Death 24 October 1918
Service Number G/97914
Military Service 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment
Merton Address 153 High Street
Local Memorial Christ Church, Colliers Wood

Additional Information

Born during the summer of 1892, Arthur was the son of William and Eliza Brooks. Married in 1877, the couple spent the following years at 2 Singlegate Cottage on London Road, Mitcham. Their first three sons, William, Ernest and Frederick were born at this address, however by 1891 the family had moved to 2 Rose Tree Cottage on Merton Road ( now better known as High Street, Colliers Wood. ) William senior was working as a case maker and his eldest child, 13 year old William jnr, was a Milk boy.

By 1901 young Arthur was 8 years old. Both his father and eldest brother were now working as case makers. 20 year old Ernest Brooks was employed as a coal carter ( or haulier. ) 14 year old Frederick may still have been at school and the Brooks also had a fifth son, Reginald, aged 4.
The 1911 census shows the Brooks family living at 153 High Street, a five room property in Colliers Wood. Both Arthur and his brother Frederick were working as shop assistants for a local Grocer.

14 year old Reginald was a Grocer’s errand Boy (possibly at the same store.) Their father, William, was employed as a case maker at the East India Stores in Lambeth.

Arthur was aged 22 when war broke out. He enlisted in Mitcham on 30 June 1915, listing his occupation as packing case maker. His army papers described him as 5 feet 6 ½ inches tall, weighing 120 pounds, with a 35 ½ inch chest, black hair and brown eyes. He also had tattoos on both forearms.

Arthur became a Private in the 5th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment. This was a Reserve Battalion formed in August 1914. Initially based at Rochester in Kent, the men were later transferred to Chatham. On 24 August 1918, Arthur married Edith Burt of 57 Charlmont Road, Tooting. Less than two months later, he was posted to join the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front.

On 10 October 1918 Arthur was posted to the 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, which fought in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line between Arras and Soissons, France. ( 12 September – 12 October 1918.) Two days later he was wounded, possibly in fighting near the River Selle. He returned to duty on 15 October and was transferred to Flanders where he was killed in action on 24 October 1918 during the final British advance.

Arthur Brook is buried at Vis-En- Artois cemetery in the Haucourt region of France. His name also appeared on a memorial at Christ Church, Colliers Wood.


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