George H. Brooks

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Number: 1796                 Unit: 4th Lincolnshire
                                                        Regiment.

Rank: Pte.                        Commemorated:
                                     Loos Memorial, France.

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PERSONAL DETAILS.

George, being born at Revesby, was the second son of Mr. G. Brooks, Alexander Road Woodhall Spa.  Prior to the outbreak of war, George was a member of the local territorials in Woodhall Spa, and he enlisted there.  His brother, Tom Brooks, served with the 2nd Yorks and Lancaster's, during the conflict, and was reported as having been wounded on the 21st August 1915.  George was reported as missing following his battalion’s charge on the Hohenzollern Redoubt on the 13th October 1915.  He was just 21 years of age.

SERVICE DETAILS.

In 1908, the 3 existing volunteer battalions of the Lincolnshire Rifle Volunteers, were reorganised to form the Lincoln’s two new territorial battalions, the 4th and 5th Lincolns.  By the outbreak of war, both battalions were part of the 138th Brigade, 46th Division.  The 4th battalion was commanded by Lt. Col. J.W. Jessop and the 5th by Lt. Col. T.E. Sandall.  On the 1st March 1915, the battalions disembarked at Havre and, after having spent 2-3 days at rest, moved towards the front line, by stages, over the period 9th - 26th March.  The battalions had come to war.  By the 26th September we find both battalions in front line trenches north of, and adjoining, Hill 60 in the salient.  Here they remained until they were relieved on the 1st October, having spent the previous 3 months in the line.  Their rest was, however, short lived as, on the 2nd, the 46th Division became attached to XI Corps.  On the 4th, after a swift move to the Bethune area, the battalions learned they were to take part in the attack on Hohenzollern Redoubt.  By the afternoon of the 12th October, their training complete, the battalions found themselves in position ready for the attack on the next day.  Operation orders for the attack directed the 46th Division to capture the Hohenzollern Redoubt and Fosse 8.  The 5th Lincolns were to be on the left and the Leicesters on the right, in the first line of attack.  The 4th Lincolns were in reserve.  The artillery bombardment started at 12.00 noon on the 13th October and, at 2.00pm, the 5th Lincolns left their trenches.  The attackers got across no mans land and into the redoubt splendidly and then advanced onto Fosse trench only to be mown down by machine gun and rifle fire.  The 4th Lincolns, in support, crossed the front-line trenches and went forward to the redoubt.  Their diary records “Redoubt taken, but at heavy cost.  Incessant bombing, machine gun and rifle fire all the evening, also shelling.  Gas and smoke were used to cover the advance but apparently with little damage to the enemy”.  They were finally relieved on the morning of the 14th after suffering casualties of 10 Officers and 385 other ranks killed, wounded or missing.  The 5th Lincolns were similarly relieved on the morning of the 14th.  Their diary states “We went into the show about 23 Officers and 850 men and came out with 1 Officer and about 110 men”.  It was during this action George died.       

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