Walter BROOKS
Rank: Private
Number: 2257
Unit: 1/7th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 31 May 1915
Age: 20
Cemetery: Helles Memorial, Turkey

George Brooks and Alice Wheeldon married in a civil ceremony registered at Stockport in the June quarter of 1885. Over the years they would have at least six children of whom Walter was the fourth. His brother, Charles, four years older, would also serve in the War with the Manchesters' 6th Battalion. The 1901 Census records the family living at 29 Hall Street, Stockport and that George was a commercial traveller. This was for a long established wholesale grocery business in Manchester - Thomas Bennett & Co with it's office on Corporation Street.

By the time of the Great War, George had become the owner of Bennetts and Walter was working for the company as a clerk. The family had now moved to 45 Beech Road. A keen sportsman, walter was a member of Stockport Cricket Club and, in the winter, played in defence for the "B" team of Stockport Lacrosse Club.  He is commemorated on the Cricket Club Memorial at its Cale Green ground. Many young players joined up within days of War being declared and Walter was no exception. An account of their early months in Britain and the Sudan is here.

Whilst in Khartoum, Walter was a member of one of the two platoons which were assigned to the Camel Corps. But the "real War" was not far away and, on 3 May, the Battalion embarked to go into action at Gallipoli.  By the 11th, walter and his mates were in the front line in the Krithia Nullah sector and they spent 5 days here. When they were relieved back into reserve, Walter and Charles had an opportunity for a brief (and final) meeting.

On 31 May, the Battalion was back in the front line preparing for a major attack scheduled to take place on 4 June. Walter was one of party of 12 men bringing the rations up to the troops from the rear area. A shell landed amongst them. None escaped unscathed. Seven were wounded but Walter,  Alec Graham and three others were killed.

   
           
   
     
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