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6 May 2017
Flight Engineer – Sergeant Frederick Brookes, 546437, RAF

 

Flight Engineer, Sergeant F.Brookes, 546437, RAF, later in 462 Squadron

 

 

Flight Engineer, Sergeant Frederick Brookes, 546437, RAF, while based at 1652 HCU, Marston Moor, Yorkshire, late 1944.

Huish Family photos – Irene Huish was Fred's wife.

06/05/2010 – additional Huish Family photos.

06/05/2010 – Cotterill Family photos. Hilda Cotterill was Fred's older sister.

NEW 06/01/2017Brookes photos and documents received from Andy Brookes, Grand-son of Herbert Brookes. Herbert was Fred's older brother.

Service information for Sgt Fred Brookes.

Please visit the 1652 HCU Marston Moor page to view more photos of Sgt Frederick Brookes.
Further details are included in pages for Crew 59, Pilot Ball;
initial Communal Grave at Zaasch; CWGC Graves at Berlin;
crew listing on Zaasch Memorial; and St Clement Danes Memorial.

Cpl Fred Brookes 546437 RAF,  and Crew of Site 14, August 1940

 

 

The following 8 photos from the Huish Family Collection were supplied by Frank Huish, brother-in-law of Frederick Brookes.

Fred Brookes and mates at Site 14, August 1940 (location as yet unknown – if you recognise the location or any of the Airmen, please make contact).

Label on original photo with individual identification.

Back row from left – T.Fisher, A.Hughes, E.Tweedale, W.Pirie.

Front row from left – Corporal Frederick Brookes, D.Roberts, J.Slade, A.Coombs.

J.Saltmarsh (? maybe this person took the photo).

Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

The crew of Site 14, August 1940, including Cpl Fred Brookes 546437 RAF

 

 

 

 

 

Label on original photo – "The Crew of Site 14, August 1940" – (location as yet unknown – if you recognise the location or any of the Airmen, please make contact). No other identification, but compared with the photo above probably taken around the same time, the names are

Back row from left – Unknown, A.Hughes, W.Pirie, unknown,

Front row from left – T.Fisher, Corporal Frederick Brookes, J.Slade, A.Coombs.

Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

 

Cpl Fred Brookes 546437 RAF, and Irene Huish 1939

 

 

 

 

 

 

Label on original photo "Irene and Fred 1939".

Corporal Frederick Brookes and Irene Huish, possibly photographed on the day of their engagement, as they are both looking at Irene's left hand.

Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

 

Cpl Fred Brookes 546437 RAF, and Irene Huish outside Irene's home "Rosendale' Bedw Bach 1939

 

 

 

 

 

Label on original photo "Irene and Fred, home 1939"

Corporal Frederick Brookes and Irene Huish outside Irene's home "Rosendale" at Bedw Bach, Wales 1939. Photo possibly taken on the same day as the one immediately above, with Irene wearing the same outfit and maybe an engagement ring prominently displayed on her left hand ring finger.

Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

Corporal Frederick Brookes, 546437, RAF, later in 462 Squadron

 

 

 

 

 

 

Label on original photo "My Hubby looking pleased with himself".

Corporal Frederick Brookes, husband of Irene (née Huish).

Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

 

 

Cpl Fred Brookes 546437 RAF, and wife Irene on Wedding Day, 20 Sept 1941

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Label on original photo "Irene and Fred leaving church".

Groom Corporal Frederick Brookes and Bride Irene (née Huish) leaving the church on their Wedding Day 20 Sept 1941.

Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

Cpl & Mrs Fred Brookes (546437 RAF) and Wedding Party on 20 Sept 1941

 

 

 

 

Label on original photo "Wedding Irene and Fred Brookes".

Formal photo of Official Wedding Party on 20 Sept 1941

From left – Bridesmaid, Best Man, Groom Corporal Frederick Brookes, Bride Irene (née Huish), Bridesmaid, Bride's Uncle Alan Stevenson, in front flower girl Bride's sister Rose Huish.

Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

Sgt Fred Brookes 546437 RAF, & wife Irene outside 'Rosedale' Bedw Bach, 1944

 

 

 

 

 

Label on original photo "Irene and Fred (Sgt & F/E wings) outside 'Rosendale' Bedw Bach".

Sergeant Frederick Brookes and wife Irene photographed outside the family home 'Rosendale' at Bedw Bach in Wales, probably in late 1944. Fred obtained his rank of Sergeant on 21 August 1944.

Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

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Gladys & Irene Huish 1941

Gladys (oldest) & Irene Huish, sisters – both were married in the same quarter in 1941. (undated photo)
Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

 

Stan & Tom Huish, Army, WW2


Stan & Tom Huish, brothers, who met up in Italy during WW2 active service in the British Army, and both survived the war. (undated photo)
Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

 

Grandmother Mrs Stevenson 1942


Irene's maternal Grandmother Stevenson, 1942.
Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

 

Maria Huish with grandaughter Pamela


Irene's mother Maria Huish, with son Stan's daughter Pamela (undated photo).
Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

 

Irene Huish & friend Bronwen at Sully Hospital, South Glamorgan, Wales 1938


Irene Huish (right) and friend Bronwen, Sully Hospital, South Glamorgan, Wales 1938.
Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

 

 

Huish siblings in 1936/37 outside their home in Bedw Bach, Wales - Gladys, Stan, Irene who later married Frederick Brookes, Tom, Ivor, Rose, Alfred, Frank.


Huish siblings (numbered from eldest)
Back row – 1.Gladys, 2.Stan, 3.Irene
(married Frederick Brookes)
Middle row – 4.Tom, 5.Ivor, 7.Rose, 6.Alfred

Front – 8.Frank (approx 1936 or 1937)
All are now deceased, except Rose & Frank who supplied photos from the Huish Family Collection for this website.
Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

 

 

Irene Brookes, nee Huish


Irene Brookes (née Huish), undated
Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.

 

Frank & Edna Huish, Golden Wedding Anniversary 31/08/07


Frank & Edna Huish at their Golden Wedding Celebrations 31 August 2007. Sadly Edna passed away on 1 August 2009.
Photo supplied by the Huish Family and used with their permission.
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Frederick Brookes and friends at Bow Cop, near Kidsgrove

NEW 06/05/2010

The following 14 photos from the Cotterill Family Collection were supplied by Terence Cotterill, nephew of Frederick Brookes.

Terry is the older son of Hilda Cotterill, who was the older sister of Sgt Frederick Brookes. Terry made contact on 15 March 2010 after viewing this website, and seeing the Huish family photos of his Uncle Fred. I was not aware of Fred having an older sister, so I welcomed Terry's input and I am indebted to him for providing the photos and additional information about Fred.

The photo at left shows a young Frederick Brookes (with cap) standing at the rear of the group of 7 mates at the top of Mow Cop, near Kidsgrove. Fred was born on 26 February 1919, and looks to be about 12 or 13 here. The photo is undated but was probably taken in about 1931 or 1932. There is a Folly on the hill which kids could explore back then. The Cheshire plain can be seen in the background, along with graffiti on the rocks.

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

Frederick Brookes, sister Hilda Brookes, parents Mary & Abe Brookes, and Grandmother

 

The Brookes Family

From left – Unknown, Fred's mother Mary Brookes (née Mobley), Fred's Grandmother, Fred's older sister Hilda Brookes, Fred's father Abe Brookes, and a young Frederick Brookes in front. Photo is undated but was probably taken in about 1933 or 1934, as Fred appears older than in the 'Mow Cop' photo above. The photo was taken at the end of the terrace near the family home. Fred's parents were married in 1906 and had three children – Herbert 1907, Hilda 10/04/1910 and Frederick 26/02/1919.

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

Frederick Brookes at the Wedding of Sister Hilda to Sidney Cotterill, 11 April 1936

 

The wedding of Hilda Brookes and Sidney John Cotterill
on 11 April 1936.

Back row from left:- Frederick Brookes (aged 17 years & 2 months), unknown male behind Groom & Bride, Herbert Brookes (Fred & Hilda's older brother).

Middle row from left:- unknown male partly obscured, Groom Sidney John Cotterill, Bride Hilda Cotterill (née Brookes), unknown Bridesmaid partly obscured.

Front row from left:- Unknown Bridesmaid, Flower-girls 1 and 2 (Mobley Cousins, one is thought to be Beryl Mobley), Unknown Bridesmaid.

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

Frederick Brookes 546437 RAF, in uniform - young Airman in training

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airman Frederick Brookes, not yet showing Corporal or Sergeant stripes, at an unknown time and location. The undated postcard photo was sent home to his family. (If you recognise the location, please make contact).

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

Frederick Brookes 546437 RAF, in uniform & overcoat - young airman in training, later in 462 Squadron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airman Frederick Brookes, not yet showing Corporal or Sergeant stripes, at an unknown time and location. The undated postcard photo was sent home to his sister Hilda with label "To Hilda, from Fred". (If you recognise the location, please make contact).

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

Frederick Brookes 546437 RAF, RAF, with fellow airmen dancing a jig

 

 

 

 

Airman Frederick Brookes (to the right of the photo, closest to the Airedale Terrier) and 4 fellow Airmen at an unknown time & location. They seem to have been loading or unloading the new looking RAF Transport vehicle, but for reasons unknown – one Airman & Fred are dancing a jig, or perhaps it is the Highland Fling. Fred is not yet showing Corporal or Sergeant stripes, so this photo appears to have been taken early in his RAF training.

(If you recognise the location, or any of the un-named Airmen,
please make contact).

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

 

Irene Huish, fiancee and later wife of Frederick Brookes 546437 RAF

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irene Huish – Formal photo taken on the day of her Engagement to Frederick Brookes in 1939. Please refer also to photos 4 & 5 (above) from the Huish family collection, in which Irene is wearing the same dress, necklace and hairstyle.

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

 

Gold locket with Sgt Frederick Brookes 546437 RAF and wife Irene (nee Huish)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold locket previously owned by Irene Brookes (née Huish) showing
on the left – her husband Sgt Frederick Brookes with Flight Engineer's wings and Sergeant's stripes,
and on the right – Irene Brookes in her Nurses's uniform.

This locket was given by Irene to her sister-in-law Hilda Cotterill at the time of Irene's visit to the Cotterill family home after WW2 in late 1947 or early 1948 (see also photo below of Irene with 2 nephews taken during that visit).

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

 

Locket owned by Irene Brookes (nee Huish), wife of Sgt Fred  Brookes 546437 RAF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold locket previously owned by Irene Brookes (née Huish) as shown above, and containing photos of herself and husband Sgt Frederick Brookes. Irene's married initials "I.B." are inscribed on the front of the locket, which is approximately 1 inch in width and 1¼ inches in length.

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

Abe Brookes, father of Sgt Fred Brookes 546437 RAF, with grandson Terence Cotterill

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Abe Brookes, father of Sgt Frederick Brookes. Abe is holding his grandson Terence Cotterill, the oldest son of his daughter (& Fred's older sister) Hilda. Terry was born in November 1941, so this photo was probably taken sometime in late 1942 or early 1943. Location is the Brookes family back garden. The tree on the other side of the wall was a favourite source of conkers for the kid's catapults.

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

 

Hilda Cotterill (nee Brookes) sister of Sgt Fred Brookes 546437 RAF, with her husband Sidney & son Terence

 

 

 

 

 

The Cotterill Family – photo dated 29/04/44 on reverse.

Hilda Cotterill (née Brookes), sister of Sgt Frederick Brookes,
Hilda's husband Sidney John Cotterill,
and their son Terence (birth Nov 1941) aged about 2 years 6 months.

The photo was taken in the garden of the Cotterill family home at 2 Rosendale Avenue, Chesterton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. By an amazing co-incidence, 'Rosendale' was the name of the Huish family home in Bedw Bach, Llanharan, Glamorgan, South Wales (i.e. Fred's wife and her family). Please refer to photos 5 and 9 in the Huish Family Photo collection above.

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

 

Irene Brookes (nee Huish) wife of Sgt Fred Brookes 546437 RAF, with nephews Terence & Adrian Cotterrill, sons of Fred's sister Hilda

 

 

 

 

 

Irene Brookes (née Huish) with nephews Terence Cotterill and baby Adrian Cotterill who are the sons of Hilda (sister of Sgt Frederick Brookes) and Sidney Cotterill. Adrian was born on 20 or 21 July 1946, so this photo could be dated as sometime late in 1947 or perhaps early 1948. It was during this visit to the Cotterill family home in Chesterton that Irene gave the gold locket (pictured above) to Hilda.

At the estimated time of this photo, Irene had been a widow for about 2½ years.

Sadly Irene's death at age 28 was registered in Cardiff in early 1949. Irene may have already been aware of her serious illness, hence her decision to give her precious locket to Fred's sister. Irene's birth was registered in the 4th Quarter of 1920, District Pontypridd; County Glamorgan, Mid Glamorgan; Vol 11a; Page 1257, mother's maiden name Stevenson.

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

Herbert Brookes and wife Mary (nee Barlow) - older brother of Sgt Fred Brookes 546437 RAF

 

 

 

 

Herbert Brookes and wife Mary (née Barlow) – time and location of photo unknown. Herbert & Mary were married in 1934 and subsequently had three sons. Herbert suffered from poor eyesight, hence his rather thick spectacle lenses in this photo & in that of his sister Hilda's wedding. This photo is signed in the bottom right corner – "With Love Herby & Mary".

Herbert was the older brother of Sgt Frederick Brookes and was listed on Fred's RAF documents as an additional contact. Fred's official next-of-kin was his wife Irene.

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

Grave 4.Z.11 of Sgt Frederick Brookes 546437 RAF 462 Squadron, Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, with temporary cross in 1949

 

Temporary Cross on Grave 4.Z.11 of Sgt Frederick Brookes in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. This photograph was sent to the Brookes Family by the RAF, and was held by Fred's sister Hilda.

According to the RAAF Casualty Files of the five deceased Australian crew members, similar photos were sent to their next-of-kin in September and October 1949. The crosses were of a temporary nature only and were to be replaced with the permanent headstones by the Imperial War Graves Commission (later C.W.G.C.).

A document sent to Herbert Brookes with the photo of the cross, is shown in the next section.

The permanent headstone (with it's inscription) for Sgt Frederick Brookes can be seen on the Berlin Graves page, or via the Crash Details page.

Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

Last mail letter from Sgt Frederick Brookes 546437 RAF
Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

 

 

 

 

This is the last letter sent by Sgt Frederick Brookes to his sister Hilda & her husband Sidney. The envelope (below) appears to be official RAF issue with the RAF logo on the reverse. It is addressed to the Cotterill family home at Chesterton, & is postmarked York at 9:15pm 3 September 1944, with a return address of No.2 Sgts Mess, RAF Station, Marston Moor, Yorkshire.

In the letter, Fred apologises for his quick departure from them on his previous leave, and comments on the rain and wind on the moor outside. He writes to advise of his new address, so he must have recently been posted to 1652 HCU at Marston Moor.

He was at Marston Moor prior to the arrival of the 6 RAAF airmen who had formed a crew at 27 OTU in Lichfield (Church Broughton). That crew was made up of Pilot Alf Ball, Bomb Aimer Murray Frank, Navigator Neil Evans, Rear Gunner Max Hibberd, Mid-Upper Gunner Johnny Tait, & Wireless Operator Ron Taylor. On 25/08/44, this crew was initially posted from 27 OTU to No. 41 Base, Acaster Malbis, Yorkshire. On 07/11/44, they were subsequently posted to No. 74 Base, 1652 HCU Marston Moor, Yorkshire. Thus – Sgt Frederick Brookes had been at Marston Moor at least 2 months before becoming the 7th man & Flight Engineer for this Crew.

 

Last mail envelope, front, from Sgt Frederick Brookes 546437 RAF
Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

 

 

Last mail envelope, rear, from Sgt Frederick Brookes 546437 RAF
Photo supplied by the Cotterill Family and used with their permission.

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Wedding photo of Frederick Brookes and Irene Huish, 20 September 1941.
Photo supplied by the Brookes Family and used with their permission.

 

 

 

The following 3 photos and 4 documents were received from Andy Brookes, Grand-son of Herbert Brookes. Herbert was Fred's older brother, so was listed as the additional person to contact in event of casualty.

Photo of Official Wedding Party on 20 September 1941

From left – Bridesmaid, Best Man, Groom Corporal Frederick Brookes, Bride Irene (née Huish), Bridesmaid, Bride's Uncle Alan Stevenson, in front flower girl Bride's sister Rose Huish.

This photo must have been taken shortly before or after the one shown previously (supplied by the Cotterill family). However this sepia copy has not been colour-tinted; the faces are not so serious with smiles visible; and the flower girl has moved her head at the critical time.

 

 

Crew formal photo 1652 HCU Marston Moor (M.J.Hibberd, M.Frank, F.Brookes, N.V.Evans, J.M.Tait, A.D.J.Ball, R.R.Taylor) later in 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo supplied by the Brookes Family and used with their permission.

 

 

This is the same photo as that shown on the crew page, supplied from from the Rear Gunner Max Hibberd Collection, however there are slight variations in the signatures, and addition (or not) of rank. It is likely that each member of the crew had a similarly signed copy.

This photo was taken while the Crew were still based at 1652 HCU, Marston Moor in Yorkshire, probably in November or early December 1944, prior to being posted to 462 Squadron at Foulsham in Norfolk. Each has autographed the photo, which was taken at a photographic studio in York.
(Photographer Rob. L.S. Catcheside)

Back row from left: Rear Gunner – Flight Sergeant M.J.Hibberd, RAAF;
Bomb Aimer – Flying Officer M.Frank, RAAF;

Flight Engineer – Sergeant F.Brookes, RAF
;
Navigator – Flight Sergeant N.V.Evans, RAAF
.

Front row from left: Mid-Upper Gunner – Flight Sergeant J.M.Tait, RAAF;
Pilot – Flying Officer A.D.J.Ball, RAAF;
Wireless Operator – Warrant Officer R.R.Taylor, RAAF
.

Not in photo – German-speaking Special Duties Operator (Air Gunner), Flying Officer J.Heggarty, RAFVR, who flew with the Crew in 462 Squadron at Foulsham, Norfolk.

 

 

 

WW2 Campaign Medals of Sergeant Frederick Brookes, 546437, RAF, of 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo supplied by the Brookes Family and used with their permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WW2 Campaign Medals of Sergeant Frederick Brookes, 546437, RAF, of 462 Squadron, Foulsham, Active Operational Service from 16 February 1945 until Killed in Action on 10 April 1945.


From left to right:-
1. 1939-45 Star
2. France and Germany Star
3. Defence Medal
4. War Medal 1939-45

 

 

 

 

Telegram "Missing" 11 April 1945, Sergeant Frederick Brookes, 546437, RAF, of 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo supplied by the Brookes Family and used with their permission.

 

 

 

11 April 1945, 11:45 – Telegram to Mr Herbert Brookes from Commanding Officer of 462 Squadron, advising that his brother was Missing from Operations on night of 10 April 1945.

Transcription as follows ....... quote (as written, Sce No was 546437) ....

Mr Herbert Brookes ........
Talke Pits, Stoke on Trent, Staff
Deeply regret to inform you that your
Brother 546427 Sgt F Brookes is
missing from air operation on night April
10th 1945, letter follows stop pending
receipt of written notification from the air
ministry no information should be given
to the press stop any further information
Received will be immediately communicated
to you Please accept my profound sympathy
Cmdg Officer

 

 

Letter 28 August 1945, Sergeant Frederick Brookes, 546437, RAF, of 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo supplied by the Brookes Family and used with their permission.

 

28th August 1945 Letter from Air Ministry to Mr H Brookes.

Transcription as follows ....... quote ....

Sir
I am directed to refer to your letter of July date
regarding your brother, No.546437 Sergeant Frederick Brookes
Royal Air Force, and to inform you, with regret, that no news
has been received of him since he was reported missing as the
result of air operations on the night of the 10th/11th April,
1945.

As all Air Force personnel who were evading or captured
(including those who may have been in hospital) are in Allied
hands and the majority have now returned to the United Kingdom,
it is considered that had your brother been safe official
notification would have been received and you yourself would
have heard direct from him by now.

As soon as local conditions permit, the Royal Air Force
Missing Research and Enquiry Service will be established in order
to pursue enquiries for all Air Force personnel reported missing
and of whose fate no news has been received. Considerable
patient enquiry is involved which may mean the cross questioning
of local inhabitants and the searching of public records for
information of the location of graves as conditions of war do
not always permit of burials in organised cemeteries and it is
felt you will appreciate therefore that no indication can be
given as to when the result of any particular enquiry is likely
to be known.

May I extend to you the sincere sympathy of the Department
in your continued anxiety and assure you that you will be notified
with the least possible delay when any result of these enquiries
is received.

 

 

 

Letter 9 December 1947, Sergeant Frederick Brookes, 546437, RAF, of 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo supplied by the Brookes Family and used with their permission.

 

 

9th December 1947 – Letter from Air Ministry to Mr H Brookes

Transcription as follows ....... quote ....

Dear Mr Brookes
I am very sorry to renew your grief in the loss of your
brother, Sergeant F. Brookes, but I am sure you will wish to
know that the Royal Sir Force Missing Research and Enquiry
Service have been able to send us news of the crash of his air-
craft and his last resting place.

Local enquiries reveal that his Halifax was shot down and
exploded in the air over the village of Zaasch, 16 miles north
of Leipzig in Germany. Unhappily only one member of the crew
of eight managed to bale out safely. The other seven including
your brother, were laid to rest in the Zaasch village cemetery.

In accordance with the policy agreed upon by His Majesty's
and the Commonwealth Governments that our fallen shall not be
left in isolated cemeteries, your brother and the other members
of his crew have been reverently re-interred in the British
Military Cemetery, Heerstrasse, Berlin, where your brother now
rests in Plot IV, Row Z, Grave No. 11 with his comrades in
adjoining graves.

The graves will be cared for in perpetuity by the British
staff of the Imperial War Graves Commission. As soon as
conditions permit a photograph will be taken of the grave and
sent to you.

I do sincerely hope the knowledge that your brother rests
with his comrades and that his grave will always be reverently
tended may be of some slight comfort to you in the great loss
you have sustained.

 

 

Letter 1 March 1949 with photo of Cross, Sergeant Frederick Brookes, 546437, RAF, of 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Photo supplied by the Brookes Family and used with their permission.

 

 

1st March 1949 – Letter from Air Ministry to Mr H Brookes

Transcription as follows ....... quote ....

The Under Secretary of State for Air presents his compliments to
Mr. H. Brookes, and begs to forward herewith a photograph
of cross marking the grave of No. 546437, Sergeant
Frederick Brookes.
These have been received from the Army Graves Service, who are responsible for the temporary marking of war graves.
Temporary crosses will be replaced in due course by permanent headstones to be erected by the Imperial War Graves Commission. Details of the inscription on the temporary cross will be carefully checked at that stage and any errors rectified before the permanent headstone is erected.
Air Ministry, London, S.W.1 Date 1st March, 1949

Note: This document would have accompanied the photo of the grave with cross, shown in the previous section.

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New 06/05/2010 – Service information for Sgt Fred Brookes

Date of birth – 26 February 1919

Enlistment – date and location unknown.

Events & Training prior to posting to 462 Squadron – training information transcribed from the 462 Squadron Air Crew Arrival Form, and left in the same sequence as that listed by Fred on that form. My comments and questions are in italics.

Training – Gas Defence (Ro???gcon illegible) – time unknown; location – is this possibly Rollestone Camp in Wiltshire? Internet searches indicate that Rollestone Camp, near Shrewton on the Salisbury plain was used in WW2 as a Royal Air Force Anti-Gas School.
Training – Commando Course (Welch sic Regiment) – time & location unknown – is this somewhere in Wales?
Training – Motor Transport, Cardington, in Bedfordshire – time unknown. Is this the location of the photo above of Fred dancing a jig? Is this also the location of the 2 postcard photos above of a young airman Fred Brookes in uniform and overcoat outside the brick buildings?
Training – Flight Engineers at St. Athan, Glamorgan, Wales – commencement time unknown.
Training – Several Discip. Courses – courses, times & locations unknown.

1939 – Engagement of Corporal Fred Brookes to Irene Huish, with Corporal Stripes visible on his uniform in the engagement photos above.
August 1940 – 2 photos above of Corporal Fred Brookes and mates at Site 14 – were these photos possibly taken at Rollestone Camp?
20 Sept 1941 – Marriage of Corporal Fred Brookes to Irene Huish, with Corporal Stripes on his uniform in the wedding photos above.

21 August 1944 – Promotion to Sergeant, as per the 462 Squadron Air Crew Arrival Form. Can I assume that this promotion occurred at the completion of his Flight Engineer's training at St. Athan, Glamorgan, Wales, when he would have received his Flight Engineer's wings?
03 September 1944 – Posting to 1652 HCU Marston Moor shortly after Promotion – deduced from Fred's personal letter to his sister postmarked 03/09/44, in which he advised of his new address at Marston Moor.

1652 HCU, Marston Moor – training flight information extracted from the logbook of Rear Gunner Fl/Sgt M.J.Hibberd. Sgt Brookes was the Flight Engineer for this Crew, except for possibly the October 1944 flights at Acaster Malbis.
October 1944 – 3 daylight flights, 2 in a Halifax II, and 1 in a Halifax V; all flights with 2 pilots, P/O Knox and F/Sgt Ball. During October 1944 the Crew was stationed at Acaster Malbis. It is not known if Sgt Brookes flew with them on these 3 flights, while he was stationed nearby at Marston Moor.
November 1944 – no training flights for the Crew.
December 1944 – 2 daylight flights in a Halifax III, with Pilots F/Lt Knox & P/O Ball; 3 daylight flights in a Halifax III with Pilot P/O Ball.
January 1945 – 8 daylight flights in a Halifax III with Pilot P/O Ball; 3 night flights in a Halifax III – the first with Pilots F/O Morrison and P/O Ball, and the last 2 with Pilot P/O Ball.
February 1945 – 5 night flights in Halifax III, all with Pilot P/O Ball, the last being on 13 February.
The total flying time for this Crew in Halifaxes at 1652 HCU Marston Moor was 27 hours 15 minutes daylight flying, and 14 hours 5 minutes night flying.

16 February 1945 – posting to 462 Squadron, 100 Group, Foulsham, Norfolk – Information from "Loss of Aircraft Halifax III "V" NA240 10/11 April 1945 " National Archives of Australia (NAA) Digital Copy of item 3552009 (Page 47 of 52 pages)

Air Crew Arrival Form – Confidential (Filled out by Aircrew in their own handwriting using block letters)
Date ……………… on posting from ……………….. (incomplete)
On the Authority of ……………………………. (incomplete)
1. Number.... 546437 ............ 2. Surname.... BROOKES
3. Christian Names.... FREDERICK
4. Substantive Rank.... SGT ........... Date.... 21.08.44
5. Acting Rank....              NIL                 Date  
6. Decorations.... NIL                  Date 
7. Type of Service.... REGULAR
8. Aircrew Category (in full).... FLIGHT ENGINEER
9. Types of Aircraft Flown.... OXFORDS, HALIFAX IIs, Vs, and IIIs
10. Courses Attended.... GAS DEFENCE (RO???GCON illegible), COMMANDO COURSE (WELCH REGIMENT), MOTOR TRANSPORT CARDINGTON,  F/Es AT ST ATHAN,  AND OTHERS INCLUDING SEVERAL DISCIP COURSES.
11. Date of Birth.... 26 FEBRUARY 1919
12. If Married....   YES                  Date....   20/9/41
13. Next of Kin.... a) Relationship....WIFE
b) Full Name.... IRENE BROOKES
c) Address ‘ROSENDALE’, BEDW BACH,
LLANHARAN, GLAM,
S. WALES

14. Additional Person to be Informed a) Relationship.... BROTHER
b) Full Name.... HERBERT BROOKES
c) Address....    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (address removed by family request)
                        TALKE-PITS
                        STOKE-ON-TRENT, STAFFS
15. Religion.... C. of E.
16. Medical Category.... Grade I

Even though his Arrival Form did not have the arrival date included, one can safely assume that Sgt Frederick Brookes arrived at 462 Squadron on 16 February 1945, on posting from 1652 HCU Marston Moor. Similar Air Crew Arrival Forms were all dated 16/02/45 for 5 other members of the crew (Navigator Neil Evans, Bomb Aimer Murray Frank, Rear Gunner Max Hibberd, Mid-Upper Gunner Johnny Tait, & Wireless Operator Ron Taylor). All listed their "Posting From" as 1652 Conversion Unit, Marston Moor. The Arrival Form for Pilot Alf Ball was dated 06/03/45, with "Posting From" 1652 Conversion Unit. However, this arrival date appears to be incorrect, as Pilot Ball is listed in the Squadron Operations Record Book Form 540 as flying the first ABC Halifax with the Crew on 03/03/45 (Rear Gunner's Log Book lists this flight as 04/03/45). Special Duties Operator John Heggarty arrived on 15/02/45 with posting from 27 OTU.

Operations while at 462 Squadron – please refer to Rear Gunner Fl/Sgt M.J.Hibberd's Service History, which details logbook and Squadron ORB information for the Crew during this posting. Flight Engineer Brookes was present on each op.

10 April 1945 – last flight in Halifax III NA240 Z5-V which was lost on a flight to Leipzig.
10/04/45 – 462 Sqdn ORB Form 541 – "Halifax NA240: up at 1910, missing; SDO F/O J.Heggarty RAF (VR) 179888. This aircraft took off on a Protective Patrol with the Main Force to Leipzig and failed to return from that Operation. There has been no news since taking off, and the crew has been reported Missing".
11/04/45 - 462 Sqdn ORB Form 540 – "............................. No news has been received of the Aircraft “V”/462 – Captain – P/O A.D.Ball missing from Operations on the night of the 10th".

Information from "Loss of Aircraft Halifax III "V" NA240 10/11 April 1945 " National Archives of Australia (NAA)
11 April 1945, 11:45 – Telegram to Mrs Irene Brookes from Commanding Officer of 462 Squadron, advising that her husband was Missing from Operations on night of 10 April 1945.
11 April 1945, 11:45 – Telegram to Mr Herbert Brookes from Commanding Officer of 462 Squadron, advising that his brother was Missing from Operations on night of 10 April 1945.
11 April 1945 – Letter to Mrs Irene Brookes from Squadron Leader L.G.Scharer, confirming the telegram and providing more information.
12 April 1945 – Letter to Mr Herbert Brookes from Squadron Leader L.G.Scharer, confirming the telegram and providing more information.
(The quality of the digital copy precludes reproduction of these telegrams & letters.)

Information obtained from the Australian Archives Casualty Files of the five deceased RAAF members of the crew. This information is taken from archived copies of letters & documents (all with identical or close dates, and with similar wording) sent to the next-of-kin of these 5 airman. I have assumed that the same range of letters & documents would also have been sent to the next-of-kin of the two RAF crew (i.e. Brookes & Heggarty) within the same timelines.
16 to 19 October 1945 – Advice to next-of-kin regarding information about the crash, taken from 4 ex-PoW expert investigative interviews of the only survivor of the crew (F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd).
20 Nov to 12 Dec 1945 – Official advice to next-of-kin of presumption of death of their airman with effect from 10/04/45.
9 May to 7 August 1946 – Advice to next-of-kin of despatch to them of their airman's personal effects.
30 September 1947 – Exhumation of the remains of the 7 members of the crew buried in the Zaasch village cemetery.
2 October 1947 – Reburial of remains in Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.
14 October 1947 – Investigation report advising of the identification of the airmen, and allocation of their grave registration at the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.
8 April to 30 May 1948 – Advice to next-of-kin regarding grave registration in Berlin.
5 to 12 August 1948 – Letter to next-of-kin with copy of Investigation Report (dated 14/10/47), and confirmation of final graves registration, with Plot IV, Row Z, Grave 11 for Sgt Frederick Brookes 546437 RAF.
2 September to 25 October 1949 – Letter to next-of-kin with photo of temporary Cross on Grave 4.Z.11 at Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery – please see photo above, kept by the Brookes & Cotterill Family.

Late 1948 or early 1949 – the death of Irene Brookes, beloved wife of Sgt Frederick Brookes (ref G.R.O. Death Index 1st Qtr, 1949, Vol 8b, Page 162). The cause of death, as advised by the Cotterill Family, was Nephritis.

Information from Rear Gunner Hibberd's personal war records – Fred joined the Crew as Sergeant & Flight Engineer at 1652 HCU Marston Moor late 1944. Fred's wife Irene Brookes was a Nurse at Sully Hospital in South Wales. Their home address at 'Rosendale', Bedw Bach was as per the 462 Sqdn Arrival Form. Sully hospital was the main hospital in South Wales at the time.

Information from Frank Huish, of Pontyclun, youngest brother of Irene Brookes, née Huish. "Irene was pregnant at the time Fred was killed. Sadly Irene lost the baby. It appears that both tragedies finally led to her death. Irene was one of eight children. My sister Rose and I (Frank) are the last to survive. I was the youngest child. I was born in 1933, being 11 years old when Fred was killed and memories are very vague. My three brothers served in the British Army at the end of WWII. Thankfully they all returned and went on to raise families. I was conscripted at the age of 18 and served two years in the Royal Air Force.
The hamlet of Bedw Bach (five houses) has disappeared. The ground is now part of a large production facility for L'Oreal Cosmetics. Irene's mother's name was Maria (Stevenson). Father's name Charles.
Irene was cremated at Glyntaff Crematorium in Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan. Her ashes were scattered on the Rose Gardens there. Pontypridd is the Registry District for our local area. As Irene's death is registered in Cardiff this is the Registry District for South Glamorgan which would include Barry and Sully, where Irene was a nurse."

Information from CWGC – Sgt Frederick Brookes, RAF, Grave 4.Z.11 Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, death 10 April 1945.
Up until April 2008, Brookes had been incorrectly recorded on the CWGC website as being from 424 Sqdn RCAF.
This was corrected to 462 Squadron RAAF, after detailed documents were supplied to the CWGC, and examined by their Investigators.
27/03/07 initial contact with CWGC advising of incorrect records;
27/06/07 CWGC requested information to support the request for amendment of records;
28/06/07 verifying documentation supplied to CWGC;
29/02/08 CWGC advised that investigation was in progress;
04/03/08 CWGC advised that documentation had been forwarded to the CWGC Offices in Australia for deliberation and final decision;
22/04/08 CWGC advised that authorisation to amend the records to 462 Squadron RAAF had been received.

If you can assist with the identification of the locations in the photos of Frederick Brookes above, particularly those at "Site 14" and those prior to his promotion to Corporal – please make contact.

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