THE grave of a Victoria Cross war hero is to be restored after a forces charity was alerted to its state by the Oxford Mail.
The Victoria Cross Trust is to renovate the final resting place of Edward Brooks at Rose Hill Cemetery in Church Cowley Road.
Oxford City Council has given planning permission for a £3,000 to £5,000 project to restore the plot to its original condition.
It will use steam cleaning equipment to remove grime and prevent organic matter growing back. A fresh gravel bed will also be put in.
Edward Brooks, a Company Sergeant Major (CSM) in the 2/4th Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, earned a VC for capturing a German machine gun at Fayet, France, on April 28, 1917.
He captured the German machine gun after rushing forward during a trench raid.
He shot one of its crew with his revolver and bayoneted another before turning the weapon on fleeing Germans and taking it back to the British line.
Trust chairman Gary Stapleton said it would “look like new”, adding: “Given it’s the 100th anniversary of the First World War, it’s important we restore their graves and their stories are told.
“This is the only Victoria Cross grave in Oxford so it’s important local people are aware that it’s there.”
Mr Stapleton added: “What he did was spectacular enough to be awarded the VC. Every single project we do is different, but the immense pride we take in doing it is no different to the first.”
- The grave of Edward Brooks and his wife Elsie in Rose Hill Cemetery
Army Reserves Centre the Edward Brooks Barracks in Shippon, near Abingdon, was named after the hero and opened in 2009.
The work is possible thanks to a £100,000 Government grant to the trust.
Grandson Keith Brooks, 67, below, of Gately, Horspath, said: “It shows a bit of appreciation for him and all of the VCs.
“It is just a shame they do not do something for all the war veterans.”
“I’m so proud of my grandfather for what he did “I also think everybody else is a hero. It’s just that he got the award which makes me very proud to be his grandson.”
The soldier was born in Oakley, Bucks, in 1883.
As well as serving in the Great War, he also worked in Cowley before his death in Oxford on June 26, 1944.
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11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
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