The AIF Project

Walter George BROOKS

Regimental number2866
Place of birthSydney, New South Wales
SchoolB Oublic School, Sydney, New South Walesalmain
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationStore hand
AddressDrummoyne, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19.6
Height5' 6.5"
Weight111 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Elizabeth Brooks, 13 Marlborough Street, Drummoyne, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in Senior Cadets; served for 18 months in 29th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces; still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date8 September 1916
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name58th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/75/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A19 Afric on 3 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll58th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 May 1917
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialNo known gave
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
165
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Elizabeth and the late Robert BROOKS, 'Marndo', Govett's Leap Road, Blackheath, New South Wales. Born at Drummoyne, New South Wales. Address incorrectly recorded on CWGC site as Leaf Road, Blackheath.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 3 November 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 9 January 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 20 March 1917; taken on strength, 58th Bn, in the field, 26 March 1917.

Admitted to 15th Australian Field Ambulance, 11 April 1917 (gastritis), and transferred to 5th Division Rest Station; to 56th Casualty Clearing Station, 17 April 1917; discharged to duty, 23 April 1917; rejoined unit, in the field, 24 April 1917.

Wounded in action, 12 May 1917.

Posted as 'wounded and missing', 17 July 1917.

Court of Enquiry, 31 October 1917, concluded: 'Killed in action, 12 October 1917.'

Note on Red Cross File: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills 10.10.19.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BROOKS Walter George
Red Cross File 0550902L

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