Private Edward Frank Brooks

 

 

Edward Frank Brooks was born in England on 1 December 1897. During the war he served in a number of regiments, including the Derbyshire Yeomanry.

Near the end of 1918 he was one of fifty-six men from various yeomanry regiments who were transferred to the Corps of Hussars and posted to the North Irish Horse (No.81255).

On 12 September they embarked for Boulogne and six days later joined the North Irish Horse cyclist regiment, which was then serving as corps cyclists for V Corps, doing reconnaissance and communication work on the Advance to Victory offensive.

Brooks was probably posted to E Squadron.

According to family recollections, the men arrived in France expecting to serve with their horses but were instead given bicycles, which not all of them could ride. Training involved being taken to the top of a hill and being pushed down.

Brooks saw action with the North Irish Horse during the last weeks of the war and was gassed, probably on 3 October 1918 when E Squadron's diary reported 15 other ranks as casualties from gas shelling.

In 1919 Brooks transferred to the Army Cyclist Corps (No.14828), serving in the IV Corps Cyclist Regiment in the Army of Occupation in Germany until the end of the year.

In World War 2 he served in civil defence as a fire fighter in the General Service Corps.

 

 

Private Brooks kept many photos and other souvenirs from his time in the army in both wars. Some of these are shown below.

 

Brooks's medals

 

 

 

Cap badges

 

Lanyard

 

Private Brooks (third from left) on bicycle training with other members of the Derbyshire Yeomanry

 

North Irish Horse (probably E Squadron) at Vignacourt, January-May 1919. Brooks is directly behind the man sitting far left.

 

 

 

 

 

A North Irish Horse Victory Concert program from January 1919 can be seen here.

 

I am grateful to Debs Stone, grand-daughter of Private Brooks, for permitting me to share these images.