Private William Brooks
Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
24 Sep 1916
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte William Brooks, 43555, 182nd Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), was killed in action on the Somme on September 24th, 1916. He was aged 35 and left a widow,Annie, and four children - Baden, Edith, Elsie and Madge.
Born in Nottingham, Pte Brooks was the last of eight brothers to enlist. For four years previously he had been employed in the George Kent's iron foundry in a reserved occupation, but he decided to enlist on the day in September 1915 that news came through that one of his younger brothers, Walter James, who had been employed at the Diamond Foundry, had to lose a leg as the result of a second wound sustained while serving with the Sherwood Forsters in France. He said at the time that he would avenge his brother's injury.
He enlisted in the 3/5th Bedfords at Halton Park, from where he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, training in the Midlands. It was just seven weeks before his death that he went to France.
In a letter to Annie, his company Chaplain wrote: "I have just buried him in the military cemetery here. His grave is registered, and very shortly a little cross with his name will be placed over it. His pals attended the funeral.
"It was a single shot that hit him, and he died in the casualty station one and a half hours afterwards. He was unconscious most of the time and did not know he was dying."
Pte Brooks' widowed mother, Emma, was living in Beech Road, Luton. His widow and family were living at 108 Castle Street, Luton.
William had married Annie Frost in Luton in 1908 after his first wife Clara and mother of his two eldest children had died in 1905 at the age of 23.