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(The War Diary continues from the previous page)
The last dated entry in Sergeant Brookes' War Diary is May 2nd 1915. There follows an undated entry recording the 1/7th Warwickshire Battalion training schedule, which is recorded here as a point of interest.
Roll and instruction of falling in, lecture on Map Reading
Squad Drill, Lecture Trenches Captain Moss.
Squad Drill, Extended Order, Lecture Trenches Captain Moss.
Physical Drill, Bayonet Fighting, Company Drill, Lecture Trenches Captain Moss.
Extended Order, Company Drill, Parts of Rifles, Lecture Pay and Mess by Quartermaster.
Sergeant Edward (Ted) Brookes, 1/7th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regt celebrated his 36th birthday in the trenches on 1st May 1915 and was killed only 10 days later. At home Edward left his wife Florrie Brookes nee’ Beesley and two children: Lillian Aged 10 and Lewis Aged 8.
Edward, originally a member of the Old Volunteers, rejoined the Territorials in May 1909.
Given orders to seek out the sniper who had been taking pot shots at them Sergeant Brookes set off with a small search party which included his brother in law Jim Beesley (pictured above and right). Unfortunately they searched in vain.
As they were returning to camp Jim felt a bullet pass by, he thought 'this is it, I’m a goner'. Then he realised that his brother in law was hit; Edward had been shot in the back.
In a letter to his widow Captain Hanson said 'Your husband was a Sergeant in my Company and his death was a great blow to me and to the whole company, with whom he was always very popular. He was shot at about 1am on May 11th while returning from a patrol.
He died an hour after, being wounded and was unconscious for some considerable time before he died. Please accept my very deepest sympathy and the sympathy of the whole company in your loss. Edward Brookes is buried at La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery Belgium.
(The next and final page in this series contains personal recollections from Sergeant Brookes' daughter)
The diaries of Thomas Cairns Livingstone - a priceless record of daily life and events covering twenty years, spanning before the First World War through to the early 1930s.
Rescued during a house clearance, these interesting and stimulating journals provide first hand insights into world events and their effects on the lives of ordinary people in the UK.