838025 Pte. Thomas Brooks was born on August 4th, 1894, in Oxford, England. Emigrating to Canada, he was living in Chatsworth, Grey County, Ontario, when hostilities began.

With the raising of the 147th (Grey) Battalion, Thomas joined the cause, attesting to it in Owen Sound on November 27th, 1916.

Billeted locally over the winter, the 147th Battalion mobilized in Owen Sound in the spring of 1916 and left for training at Camp Niagara. As the conditions in the Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June. In September the unit received their orders to proceed overseas, but due to an outbreak of diphtheria they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain on November 14th 1916 on the S.S. Olympic, a sister ship to the Titanic.

On January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion, whose task it was to supply reinforcements to the 58th Battalion and the 4th C.M.R. Thomas was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on March 7th, 1917 and would see action at the Battle of Arras, where the Canadian Corps stormed Vimy Ridge.

Later that same year Thomas was killed, on October 26th, 1917, during the opening day of the Canadian Corps assault at the Battle of Passchendaele. Like so many victims of that battle Thomas has no known grave.

Private Thomas Brooks' name appears on Tablet J, Panel 32, Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, and locally on the Chatsworth Cenotaph, Ontario.

Biography details credit: George Auer

Menin Gate Memorial tablet B, Panel 32, Menin Gate Memorial image supplied by 4cmr.com