Cambridge doctor’s grave found more than a century after death in …
The grave of Cambridge-born Captain Frederick Arthur John Robertson Brooke has been found more than 105 years after his death. The doctor was killed aged 55 during World War One whilst serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC).
His grave has finally been located in the Champagne region of France. A rededication service, organised by the Ministry of Defence’s ‘War Detectives’ (otherwise known as Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, or JCCC), was held by yesterday (6 September).
The rededication service at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s La Ville-aux-Bois British Cemetery near Reims was attended by three generations of Capt Brooke’s family. Ana Retallack, his great granddaughter, had travelled from the state of Victoria, Australia, to attend the service with her husband and children.
She said the family was very grateful to everyone involved in locating the grave of Capt Brooke, giving thanks to Rosie Barron of the JCCC and David Tattersfield of the Western Front Association. She added: “The Rededication Service will bring together three generations of our family from the UK and Australia to honour not only the service of Frederick but that of the 1st Battalion The Wiltshire Regiment, too. We know how incredibly privileged we are to be able to pay respects to our grandfather, great grandfather, and great, great grandfather.
“It will no doubt be a very moving occasion." The grave was found after a researcher submitted evidence suggesting Capt Brooke’s grave could be identified.
The National Army Museum and JCCC conducted further research before a final assessment by the MOD confirmed the findings. Rosie Barron, JCCC case lead, said: “The contribution of medical personnel was crucial to the war effort and the survival of many of the wounded depended on their work.
"Capt Brooke was killed in action having put himself in harm’s way to save others. It is important that his sacrifice is not forgotten.”
The service was conducted by the Reverend Tim Clarke-Wood CF and was attended by serving soldiers of the RAMC. The headstones over the graves have been replaced by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
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