James Edward Blythe BROOK

Regimental number3019
Place of birthDulwich, London, England
Place of birthDulwich, England
SchoolTynemouth Municipal High School, North Shields, Northumberland, England
Other trainingTheological student (L.Th. part 1), St John's College, Perth, Western Australia
Age on arrival in Australia21
ReligionChurch of England
AddressSt John's College, Perth, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Next of kinFather, Benjamin Blythe Brook, 49 St Margaret's Road, Brockly, Kent, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date6 October 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll2 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentProvisional CPL
Unit name28th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/45/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A7 Medic on 18 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll28th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularAlso served his apprenticeship as a Pupil Teacher.
FateKilled in Action 29 July 1916
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)*Given name James Edward
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death25
Age at death from cemetery records26
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated (brass plaque) in St George's Cathedral, Perth, Western Australia: 'The cross on the altar commemorates three members of St John's College who were killed in the Great War - James Edward Blythe Brook, Noel Groser, Keith Murray.' Parents: Benjamin and Martha BROOK, 4 Cedars Road, Beckenham, Kent, England
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 4 served in the British Army, the eldest being Quarter Master Sergeant Nevill Blythe BROOK, 6th Northumberland Fusiliers (Territorial Force), killed in action, Ypres, Belgium, 1915.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal