Ernest William E Brooks

Rank Private
Service No G/1190
Date of Death 01/07/1916
Age 23
Regiment/Service The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 7th Battalion.
Cemetery Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, France. Mametz is a village about 8 kms east of the town of Albert. The village was carried by the 7th Division on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, after very hard fighting at Dantzig Alley (a German trench) and other points. The cemetery was begun later in the same month and was used by field ambulances and fighting units until the following November.


Ernest was born in Camberwell, south London in 1893. His parents were William (b.1868) and Rosa (b.1868), who were married in 1892. He had two siblings: Emily Rosa (b.1895) and another who died in childhood.

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family was still living in Camberwell. His father was employed as a police constable. At the time of the 1911 Census, the family was living at 30 Queens Road, Finchley. Ernest was working as a Grocer’s Assistant, whilst his father was a Sergeant in the Metropolitan Police.

On 2nd September 1914, aged 21, he enlisted in Islington. He was posted to the Buffs in Canterbury on 9th September. His enlistment papers state that his mother attended St Paul’s Finchley, and the record of his next of kin is signed by the Revd Samuel Mayall, the first vicar of St Paul’s. Ernest was killed in action on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.