continues from the previous page)
The last dated entry in Sergeant Brooke's 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
Roll & 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 & Mess by Quartermaster.
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