Brooks, Arthur

Arthur’s parents, Frank Bertram Brooks and Jennie Griffiths had married in St Mary’s Church, Ruabon:- Page 16, No. 31 24th March 1913 Frank Bertram BROOKS, 26, Bachelor, Ironworker, Shotton, John BROOKS, Retired Naval Seaman & Jennie GRIFFITHS, 26, Spinster, 17, New Hall View, John GRIFFITHS, Collier. (After Banns)  Witnesses:- Alfred BROOKS & Lizzie GRIFFITHS.

Arthur Brooks was born on the 23rd April 1914 according to the 1939 Register on Find My Past, he was living at 4 Brookside Cottages Brook Road, which I suspect was Shotton.   His wife Elsie May Brooks had been born on the 23rd November 1913 and in the household was Arthur’s father Frank B. Brooks, a widower, born on the 8th September 1886.    There were 2 redactions on this register, which possible were Frank born 1934 and Robert 1936.    The two younger children Ann J. Brooks and Gaynor Patricia Brooks were born 1936 and 1940 respectively, according to the Hughes Family Tree (jeancrowley1) on Ancestry.

Arthur was a pupil at St. Ethelwold’s Church School in Shotton as his name is recorded on their “Roll of Honour.“ (See below)

Arthur, I believe, married Elsie May Williams in a Civil Ceremony at Hawarden in 1933 (Flintshire (Mold)  HAW/12/58).

I do not know when he enlisted or was conscripted, but he was a Trooper in 1st Recce. Regt.  Reconnaissance Corps, R.A.C.

Extract taken from :-

Reconnaissance regiments

The Reconnaissance Regiments had mainly been formed in 1941–3 from infantry battalions and/or brigade anti-tank companies. They usually took their numbers from the infantry divisions in which they were formed, but retained them if transferred to another division. Some had been disbanded before transfer to the RAC in 1944, some had been converted from RAC regiments and consequently returned to the corps in 1944.

Taken from

1st Reconnaissance Regiment 

Formed in January 1941, from the Hampshire Regiment.

The Reconnaissance Regiment for the 1st Infantry Division from it’s formation to subsequent disbandment.

Fought in Tunisia, in the Anzio landing and subsequently the Anzio beachhead, in the advance to the Gothic Line and in the mountain warfare which followed in the winter of 1944.

Further Reading:-

For The Duration – The Journal Of A Conscript 1941-46      Gordon Nisbett           1996    The Pentland Press

History Of The First Division Anon   1946    Schindler’s Press, Cairo

And also taken from (pages 18/19)
In an effort to draw German defenders from the Gustav Line, the
Anglo-American VI Corps of US Fifth Army was landed behind their
right shoulders at Anzio, south of Rome, on 22 January 1944. This
corps included the British 1st Div; but instead of reconnoitring inland
through the Alban Hills, 1 Recce soon found itself besieged in
the beachhead with the rest of the landing force. Kesselring’s rapid
assembly of reinforcements and determined counter-attacks soon saw
VI Corps penned up under heavy pressure. In the defence of the
beachhead 1 Recce’s firepower proved an asset, as did the aggressive
spirit created by Reconnaissance Corps training. After fighting off a
major enemy counter-attack in early February, 1 Recce found itself on
the front pages of the British press; The Times dubbed them the ‘thin
red line’, and commented that ‘Their spirited interpretation of their
defensive role proved a decisive factor in countering the enemy’s first
testing thrust against the beachhead’. Nevertheless, these German
assaults drove the infantry out of the positions known as ‘The Thumb’
and ‘The Factory’.
Throughout February the regiment patrolled, fought off counterattacks,
and tried to dodge shelling and air raids, before being deployed as infantry
to fill gaps in 1st Div’s order of battle, by now reduced to about 50 per
cent strength. Their CO, LtCol Paddy Brett, thought that serving as infantry
would cause ‘rustiness’; but this fear proved groundless during the Anzio
break-out of 23 May, when a battlegroup (Brettforce) was formed under
his command to lead the way in 1st Div’s sector, between the Carroceto
road and 5th Div on the extreme west flank. By early June the Germans
were falling back towards and through Rome, and 1 Reece was able to
rest for the first time in months.

The later part of the last extract may shed some light on where and how Arthur died.

His Army papers below state that Arthur was wounded on the 17th February 1944 but died on the 24th February and show a correction as one paper wrongly said he was with 80 Recce.







Learn more about the other soldiers on the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial

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