Edward George Heathcote Brook

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BROOK, Edward George Heathcote

Service no: 16179 [1]

Place of birth: Orange, 1892

Address: Heathcote, Cross Street, Waverley

Occupation: Carpenter

Next of kin: Edward George Brook (father), Heathcote, Cross Street, Waverley

Date of enlistment: 11 February 1916

Place of enlistment: Sydney

Age at enlistment: 23

Fate: Embarked HMAT A29 Suevic, Sydney, 11 November 1916. Disembarked Devonport 30 January 1917. Marched in to Training Camp at Perham Downs, Salisbury, 30 January 1917. Marched out to Brightlingsea 9 February 1917. Proceeded to France 13 March 1917. Taken on strength with 2nd Field Company Engineers, Etaples, 21 May 1917. Detached to 1st Divisional Headquarters 12 February 1918. Returned to unit 8 March 1918. Proceeded to United Kingdom on leave 11 June 1918. Rejoined unit 29 June 1918. Admitted to 2nd Field Ambulance with scabies, France, 19 August 1918. Transferred to 2nd Convalescent Depot 21 August 1918. Admitted to Graylingwell War Hospital, Chichester, England, suffering from boils, 18 October 1918. Embarked Khyber for return to Australia 31 March 1919. Returned to Australia 15 May 1919. Discharged from AIF 14 September 1919.

Date of death: 3 March 1968, aged 75

Edward George Heathcote Brook was born in Orange in 1892, the fifth of seven children born to Edward George Brook and Helena Booth Heathcote.

Edward and Helena had married in 1878 in Goulburn, where Edward was the landlord of the Great Southern Hotel. The couple travelled around the state somewhat; their children were born in Windsor, Berrima, Bathurst, Orange and Goulburn. They later settled in Waverley in Sydney.

After his school education Edward served a five year apprenticeship with the carpenter TD Jones of Kent Street in Sydney.

Edward and his younger brother, William James Heathcote Brook, enlisted together on 11 February 1916. William embarked for overseas service shortly after enlisting, but Edward did not embark for a further nine months. As fate would have it Edward embarked on 11 November 1916, the day after his brother William was killed in action on the Western Front.

On 18 December 1916 Edward’s father wrote a letter to the Minister of Defence requesting that Edward be advised of his brother’s death before disembarking. He was informed that that this was impossible, and was advised to send a cable that Edward would receive upon arrival.

Edward’s father died nine days later, on 18 December 1916. According to the Goulburn Evening Penny Post:[2]

For the last few years Mr. Brook had suffered from a weak heart.
His end was hastened by the death of Sapper Brook.

Edward disembarked in Devonport on 30 January 1917 and was marched in to training camp at Perham Downs. He proceeded to France on 13 March 1917 and was taken on strength with 2nd Field Company Engineers at Etaples on 21 May 1917. In February 1918 he was detached to 1st Divisional Headquarters for a period of four weeks, and in June he went to the United Kingdom on two weeks furlough.

In August 1918 Edward was admitted to the 2nd Field Ambulance with scabies. He was transferred to England, where he was admitted to Graylingwell War Hospital in Chichester. He returned to Australia in May 1919 and was discharged from the AIF 14 September 1919.

In 1920 Edward married Esther Bradbury in Waverley. The couple had two children: Ted and Bell. The family was living at 43 Robey Street, Maroubra, when Esther died in February 1954. Edward died in Maroubra on 3 March 1968, aged 75 years.

Edward George Heathcote Brook is commemorated on Waverley Soldier's Memorial 1914-1918 in Waverley Park, Sydney.

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