Cecil Edmund Brookes
St. Mary the Virgin
Details on cross:
GRU tags One at top of shaft GRU 3 metal tags on cross member,
6276 CPL C BROOKS
8 R W. KENTS.
Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU tags
There is a brass plaque below the GRU tag at the top of the shaft:
In memory of
CECIL E BROOKES
KILLED IN ACTION
Cross dimensions (millimetres please)
Shaft Height: 990mm
Cross beam width:380mm
Width of wood:50mm
Thickness or depth:25mm
Mounting to wall: The cross is on the right hand side half way up the church, resting on a stone plinth. Attached to the bottom end of the shaft is a laminated sheet giving the history and a photograph of Cecil Edmund Brookes.
Evidence of use in field (earth marking, cracking, staining, shrinkage): Slight discolouration at bottom of shaft, the shaft has been cut straight across at the end
Surface insertion depth (into ground if apparent): up to 150mm
Finish (varnish, paint, oiled, unfinished etc): No staining or varnish. Edges of cross member and top of shaft have been chamfered
Condition (cracked, paint peeling, woodwork, damage etc): Cross is in original and good condition, slight staining at lower end of shaft.
Notes and observations:
Cecil Edmund Brookes (spelt Brooks without the e on the GRU tag) was the eldest son of Herbert and Lily Brookes of Willesborough, Kent. He left a wife Lillie. He enlisted on 26th April 1915 and served with the expeditionary force in France and Flanders. After serving over 18mths on the battlefield, he was killed on the eve of obtaining his commission. His Officer wrote to his Mother “ He was calm and cheerful under most trying circumstances, he inspired the confidence of all who knew him. I know how inadequate our sympathy may seem in your great loss; yet i feel sure you will derive some benefit that your son died as only an English gentleman can do —doing his duty” Originally shown as Brooks in IWGC records it was amended on 2.6.20 to Brookes. Cecil Brookes is buried in Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery, grave ref VII B 9.
While on holiday with my family in Kent I spotted that this church had a returned cross, I contacted the Vicar John McKenzie who met us at the church and showed us the cross, he had found it in the vergers store, brought it out and put it on display he eventually hopes to put it in a permanent position in the church and to this end he is having talks with RBL. There is a carved roll of honour to those from the parish who died in the 1939-1945 war.
This church dates back to 1050AD. It was originally Roman Catholic but became Church of England after the reformation. The church has been extended over the years and the different styles of architecture can be seen. It has a beautiful wooden cross beamed ceiling, there are original stained glass windows dating from the 14th and 15th Century and a partially blocked saxon window visible from the outside. The school was held in the church from 1842-1848 commemorated by a stained glass window, only visible if you climb the stairs to the belfry which John showed us. The present 3rd,4th,5th and 6th bells are from 1603-1625 when they were cast. In the room below is a clock paid for by subscription to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Some very pretty tiles around the alter are from 1850-1860 when the trains came to Ashford. The church is open each day from 8.45 till 12 noon for tea,coffee, cakes and a chat. The church has recently reopened after major refurbishment some pews have been removed to allow for the many activities that are held in the church its very much focal point in the community. Sincere thanks to John the Vicar for showing us round the church, his enthusiasm was infectious, he also forwarded a detailed history of the church which makes for very interesting reading. I have only given you a snippet of its history here.
Your name: Margaret Draycott, photos Martin Draycott
Date of survey: 27.10.2016