James Anson Otho Brooke

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James Anson Otho Brooke
Zantvoorde British Cemetery 3.JPG
Captain Brooke's grave in Zantvoorde British Cemetery, Zonnebeke, Belgium (centre)
Born 3 February 1884
Aberdeen, Scotland
Died 29 October 1914 (aged 30)
Gheluvelt, Belgium
Buried Zantvoorde British Cemetery (nl)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service ?-1914 
Rank Captain
Unit The Gordon Highlanders
Battles/wars First World War
Awards Victoria Cross

James Anson Otho Brooke VC (3 February 1884 – 29 October 1914) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Details[edit]

Brooke was a 30-year-old lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place at the First Battle of Ypres for which he was awarded the VC.

On 29 October 1914 near Gheluvelt, Belgium, Lieutenant Brooke led two attacks on the German trenches under heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, regaining a lost trench at a very critical moment. By his marked coolness and promptitude on this occasion, Lieutenant Brooke prevented the enemy from breaking through the British line at a time when a general counter-attack could not have been organised. Having regained the lost trench, he went back to bring up supports, and while doing so, was killed.[1]

Lieutenant Brooke was posthumously promoted to captain, effective to September 1914.

Memorials[edit]

Captain Brooke's remains were interred at Zantvoorde British Cemetery (CWGC), Zonnebeke, Belgium (near Ypres).[2] His name also appears on the family grave at Springbank Cemetery, Aberdeen.[3]

His name also appears on Aberdeen War Memorial, Colebrook War Memorial, St Ronan's Church Memorial, and Enniskillen War Memorial. A 21 cm mortar he captured is on display at Enniskillen Castle.

A Victoria Cross commemorate stone bearing his name was laid at Kingswells Hall near Aberdeen in October 2014 to mark the centenary of the award. The hall was built with the help of Brooke and the church war memorial sited opposite also bears his name.

The medal[edit]

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen, Scotland.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "No. 29074". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 February 1916. p. 1700. 
  2. ^ CWGC entry
  3. ^ Gerald Gliddon (1994). 1914. Although James Brooke is buried in Belgium his memory is also commemorated at the Springbank Cemetery, Aberdeen, in the family grave. The memorial bears the following inscription: Erected by Captain Harry V. Brooke of Fairley late 92nd ... 

Further reading[edit]