The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Corporal John Brooks

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: John Brooks

Ancestor's date of birth: 1870

Ancestor's date of death: 1918

Cause of Death: Not known

Service Number: 78 and 515

Colony or State of enlistment: VIC, Place of Enlistment: Brunswick

Units: 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles and 2nd Australian Commonwealth Horse

Rank attained in Boer War: CPL, Date Effective: 01/02/1902

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): No records avaliable of post Boer War service

Murray Page: 224 and 312

Contingent: First Victorian and First Australian.

Ship: Medic, Date of Sailing: 28/10/1899

Ship: St Andrew, Date of Sailing: 12/02/1902

Memorial details: Boer War memorial Hooper Reserve, Royal Parade Brunswick Vic

Decorations: Queen and King's South Africa Medals with clasps

Personal Characteristics: John Brooks was identified by some to be of Australian Aboriginal descent, but was from the West Indies. He was a very brave soldier.

Reasons to go and fight: Not known

Details of service in war: From November 1899 - October 1900 with the 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles in northern Cape Colony including defence of Pink Hill where five killed (12 February), in Free State, and in east Transvaal. A the battle of Pink Hill the then Private Brooks showed great bravery, bravery of the kind that won others substantial awards for gallantry. In his book "From Melbourne to Bloemfontein" Major WT Reay states "To the names of those who have already been mentioned as having shown individual heroism on that fatal day I must add that of Private Brooks of Mansfield. This man saw Lieutenant Roberts fall and, under a terrific cross-fire went to his aid. He gave the doomed officer a drink and helped to dress his wounds. He was sent back across the fire zone, crossed it safely and actually returned - three trips in all, with the bullets cutting the ground all around him. Brooks helped to carry Roberts off, and gave similar assistance when Lawdorn fell wounded." He then served March - May 1902 with the Australian Commonwealth Horse on Natal border and in west Transvaal.

Service and life after the Boer War: Not much is known of this brave man after he returned from the war, he died at the age of 48.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Martyn James Hayes, Trinity Beach QLD
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Grandson

Name of Descendant: John Julius Zuringer, Wallaroo SA
Relationship to Ancestor: great grandson

Name of Descendant: Lynn Felicity Maly, Mitcham SA
Relationship to Ancestor: granddaughter


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields