Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
3 Dec 1917
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Henry A Brooks was born in Dunstable in October 1887. He was 1 of 13 children born to Albert & Emma.
In 1901 Henry is 13 years old & working as an errand boy. He is living at 27 Grove Road, Luton a 6 roomed house. His father Albert is 46 & working as a furnace stoker at the dye works & mother Emma, 42 is working at home as a straw hat sewer. 8 of his siblings are also living with him, Ada is 24 years old & working as a straw hat machinist, Arthur 19 is a straw hat machine fitter & John 17 is working at Midland Railway as a greaser. His younger siblings are 11 year old Fred, 8 year old Walter, 7 year old Gertrude, 5 year old Sidney & Percival who is 2. They also have a boarder, 12 year old Nellie Dyer.
On 14th October 1902 His father Albert died & left Emma widowed with a large family to look after.
On 12th November 1904, giving his age as 19, Henry joined the 3rd battalion (special reserves) Bedfordshire Regiment, enlisting for the term of 4 years. He was working as a labourer for Mr F Flint of Rothesay Road at the time. On his papers he is described as being 5ft 9 inches tall with a fresh complexion, hazel eyes & dark brown hair. He has a small scar on his right rump. But by 11th March 1905 he had purchased a discharge.
Henry married Elizabeth Gertrude Plummer in 1907.
In 1911 Henry, his wife Elizabeth & their 2 children, Frederick 2 & 6 month old Ella Margaret are living with his mother at 27 Grove Road. Henry is working as a straw hat blocker. His mother Emma, a 52 year old widow is the head of the household, she has her own business as a curtain laundress with help from her 17 year old daughter Gertrude. 3 of Henry's siblings are also living with them, Sidney 16 is a moulders apprentice at the gas stove works, Percy 11 & 9 year old Dolly are at school.
No service record can be found for his time during the war but his CWGC records tell us that he died of wounds on 3rd December 1917. However, the Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph, of December 15th, 1917, said he had died in hospital in Manchester after being brought there wounded from France.
He was buried in the cemetery on Rothesay Road on December 8th, 1917, with full military honours, an escort provided by soldiers of the Royal Field Artillery.
An article in the Luton News on 8th April 1915 titled ' Six Sons Serving' was written about Emma Brooks (misspelt Brookes) & 6 of her 9 sons all doing their duty in the war, Albert, John, Sidney, Fred, Percival & Walter. Henry & William also served their country.