171435 Pte. Albert Edwin Brookman

Cambridge City Cemetery



Albert was born in Holborn, London, England on 21st October 1891, to Alfred Alexander and Frances Susan (née Elliott) Brookman.

Having travelled to Canada in 1908, aged 16, Albert's trade by this time was in bookbinding. However, it is noted that on the ship's manifest, Albert was recorded as heading for farming in Canada.

Notwithstanding, Albert married Eva Ethel Kinsey in York County, Ontario, in November 1913. The couple subsequently had a daughter, Gladys Ethel, in May 1915.

When the call to sign up came for Albert, he and Eva were living in Toronto. Albert, now a telephone maker by trade, and stating that he had served 3 years with the 10th Royal Grenadiers militia, signed on in Toronto on 2nd August 1915. He was assigned to the 83rd (Queen's Own Rifles) Battalion, which, after training, arrived in England on the SS Olympic (sister ship to the ill-fated Titanic) on 7th May 1916.

The 83rd BN's remit was to provide reinforcements to the Canadian Expeditonary Force, and as such 241 men were transfered the 4th CMR on 7th June 1916, after the latter's huge losses on the opening day of the 13 day 'Battle for Mount Sorrel', of 2nd June 1916.

On 22nd July, with the 4th CMR supplying working parties from Zillebeke in and around the front line area that had caused them so much damage in early June, Albert was injured as one of several men hit by sniping and stray gun fire around the Armagh Wood area. Taken out of the line with serious gunshot wounds to the head, chest and spine, Albert was initially treated at the 13th Stationary / 83rd (Dublin) General Hospital at Boulogne Docks. Though specialising in eye, face and jaw injuries, it was the spinal injury that was causing greatest concern, as Albert was paralysed. So serious was the nature of his injuries that he was transferred to the mainland in England, where he was treated at the 1st Eastern General Hospital in Cambridge (now the site of Cambridge University Library) on July 30th, where his condition worsended.

Sadly, on 8th August 1916, Albert, aged 25, passed away from complications caused by his injuries.

171435, Pte. Albert Edwin Brookman now lies at rest in Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridge, England.

The biography is courtesy of researcher David Kavanagh and the headstone image is supplied 4cmr.com