Wars Last Goodbyes

Individual Record

Tewkesbury Cemetery

Gloucestershire

Inscription:

Also of his father

Alfred Leonard Brookes K.R.R.s

Killed in action at Nieuport, Flanders

10th July 1917, Aged 20 years

In God's Care

Alfred Leonard

Brookes

First World War

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Rifleman

2nd Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps

16th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment (Training Battalion)

1897

Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

10th July 1917

20

Died of wounds received in action in a pre-emptive strike by the German MarinesKorps Flandern in advance of a British attack on the Belgian coastline near Nieuport called Operation Hush. The Germans were anticipating a British advance, saw the changing of the guards and called a sudden attack. The attack called Operation Strandfest was made up of immense heavy shelling, the use of two kinds of gas including mustard for the first time in a barrage, with vast numbers of troops who followed up with flamethrowers. The 2nd KRRC and the 1st Northamptonshire's suffered three quarters casualties, those who didn't immediately die in the barrage, were buried in the dugouts until the Germans came to dig, some tried to swim across the Yser Canal but were cut down with fire. Over 3000 men were wounded, missing or dead. Many of those in the 2nd KRRC including Alfred were remembered on the Nieuport Memorial. The much anticipated British coastal attack never happened, the 3rd Battle of Ypres went badly and the whole thing was called off later in the year. Alfred's body was never found.

Nieuport Memorial, Belgium

Alfred had the unlucky fortune to be placed into a 1st Division battalion, once of regular troops, then decimated by the war and therefore more likely to have placed in more dangerous places on the battle line.

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