Fletching born William Jared Brooks stands stiffly to attention and stares hard at the camera. Born in 1896 he enlisted in November 1914 and was in France by March 1916. He was probably no more than twenty years old when this photo was taken.
William had enlisted with his brother Sydney and the two men were given consecutive numbers in the 12th Royal Sussex (2nd South Down) Regiment. Sydney was killed on 30th June 1916 but William survived and at some point sent this photograph of himself to his old headmaster, John Oldaker, in Newick.
Also appearing on Chailey 1914-1918 are photographs of Frank Chatfield, Frank Mainwood and Richard Clarkson. Frank Mainwood lost his right eye whilst serving with the RGA and Richard Clarkson was taken prisoner in 1918. Frank Chatfield was invalided to England in August 1916.
Truly, the 1914-1918 generation paid a heavy price.