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452* Royal Flying Corps. A WWI DCM group of four to 2nd Lieutenant W.R. Brookes, 10th Canadian Infantry and 23 Squadron Royal Flying Corps who rescued a severely wounded officer from no-man’s land and received his DCM for conspicuous gallantry and later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as a pilot, participating in many dog-fights and bringing down enemy aircraft, he himself being wounded several times Distinguished Conduct Medal, G.V.R (81103 Cpl. W.R. Brookes. 10-Can.Inf.) 1914-15 Star (81103 Pte. W.R. Brookes. 10-Can. Inf.) British War and Victory Medals (2/Lieut. W.R. Brookes. R.F.C.), last with traces of silvering, generally good very fine, court mounted, sold with an extensive research and copied photographs of the recipient. DCM – London Gazette 11 March 1916 81103 Corporal W.R. Brookes, 9th Canadian Infantry Battalion (formerly 10th Battalion). ‘For conspicuous gallantry; he led a party under excessively heavy fire in front of the trenches to bring in an officer who had been severely wounded. The attempt was successful, and the officer brought back to a place of safety.’ 81103 2nd Lieutenant William Ralph Brookes, was born in Erith, Kent in 1892, prior to the war he emigrated to Canada residing in Ottawa as a mechanic. On 14 December 1914 he enlisted to serve with 10th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, he was promoted to Corporal on 1 June 1915. Brookes received his DCM for conspicuous gallantry whilst serving with the battalion at Festubert 21 to 22 May 1915 when the Battalion was unsuccessful at attacking German positions at K5 Redoubt, resulting in the loss of 18 officers and 250 other ranks. Brookes was later wounded by shell fragments in the right leg on 21 October 1915 whilst manning the front line trenches at Kitchener’s Wood, St Julien. The following extract is from the War Diary “At 1700 moved into trenches, relief effected without difficulties but enemy very aggressive all night with Trench Mortars and Rifle Grenades. One Trench Mortar and one Rifle Grenade fell into (our) trench causing several casualties on both occasions, 1 officer and 7 other ranks wounded”. After spending some time in a General Hospital in France, Brookes was transferred to a hospital in West Bridgford, Nottingham and remained in the UK until 1917 when he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and trained as a pilot. There are several combat reports included with the lot including the following. 29 July 1914 - 2/Lieutenant T A Doran and 2/Lieutenant WR Brookes, 23 Squadron whilst on offensive patrol attacked two Aviatics east of Polygon Wood at 085 and destroyed one. 10 August 1917 – Offensive patrol combat report by Doran and Brookes “Whilst leading a formation on offensive patrol, I saw 5 enemy aircraft south of Houthulst Forest with an escort of about 10 enemy aircraft. I dived with 2/Lieutenant Brookes to attack one of the two seaters, the others of (our) formation remaining up to protect us from the scouts above. All the two seaters at once made off east but I overtook one and attacked from above, firing a long burst of about 50 rounds, finishing the burst at 50 yards. I drove the enemy aircraft down to about 1000 feet, he was going in straight glide when he suddenly turned completely over on his back and fell apparently quite out of control. At that moment I was attacked from behind by one of the hostile scouts who had got between me and the rest of my formation, but made off as soon as I turned to fight”. Another report on 15 August 1917 records Brookes as having probably shot down two enemy aircraft in a dog fight over Houthulst Forest, Poelcappelle. The following day Brookes is recorded as being wounded and admitted to hospital. He remained there until December 1917 but he did not return to combat but instead appointed an aircraft delivery pilot. He returned to Canada in January 1918 and was again injured in a flying accident that year. Brookes died in Ottawa in 1958 (4) £2,000 - £3,000

Each lot is subject to a Buyer’s Premium of 20% (Lots marked * 24% inclusive of VAT @ 20%)

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Profile for Jamm Design Ltd

Dominic Winter  

Military, Aviation & Transport History | 16 May 2019 | High Res

Dominic Winter  

Military, Aviation & Transport History | 16 May 2019 | High Res