1/7th Battalion Royal Warwickshires War Diary, Part 3

The Personal Diary of Sergeant Edward Brookes Service No: 1168 of 46 Craners Road, Coventry.

Sergeant Brookes gave his life for his country.
His war diary has been transcribed by J Hewitt, Family Tree Researcher

(Continues from the previous page, when Sergeant Brookes left England)

(The War Diary continues from the previous page)

Private James Beesley of the Royal Warwickshires

Private James Beesley
of the
Royal Warwickshires

Grave of Sergeant Edward Brookes in La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery

Grave of Sergeant Edward Brookes
in La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery

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.

School of Instruction

Monday

Roll and instruction of falling in, lecture on Map Reading

Tuesday

Squad Drill, Lecture Trenches Captain Moss.

Wednesday

Squad Drill, Extended Order, Lecture Trenches Captain Moss.

Thursday

Physical Drill, Bayonet Fighting, Company Drill, Lecture Trenches Captain Moss.

Friday

Extended Order, Company Drill, Parts of Rifles, Lecture Pay and Mess by Quartermaster.

Saturday

Company Drill

Monday May 10th - Tuesday 11th 1915

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)

Tommy's War: A First World War Diary 1913--1918

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.