THE grandson of Victoria Cross hero Sgt Maj Edward Brooks has commissioned a new memorial stone to go on his grave in Oxford.

Keith Brooks plans to install the black granite replica of his grandfather’s medal on his grave at Rose Hill Cemetery later this year.

He is also hoping troops from Edward Brooks Barracks in Abingdon, named after his relative, will be able to join an unveiling ceremony.

Mr Brooks, of Horspath, said he wanted people to remember the individuals who fought in the First World War before they became just pages in the history books.

The former digger driver said: “In a few years’ time the First World War will mean no more to anyone in this country than the battle of Trafalgar. It will just be a date in history and those who did their bit will be forgotten about.

“If you went up to the cemetery now and looked around, you wouldn’t notice it among all the other graves, but with the cross on it people will.

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“I am very proud of my grandfather and what he did, along with every other veteran who did their bit in the wars. They all deserve the recognition for doing it, they never get enough.”

Mr Brooks said in fact it was Edward Brooks Barracks which originally suggested the memorial to mark the centenary of the First World War, but he ended up taking the mission on himself.

The 68-year-old said: “The barracks thought of it two years ago – they thought it would be nice to have a stone which makes it stand out from all the others. “ Mr Brooks commissioned Reeves Memorials in Magdalen Road, Oxford, to create the tablet, and work is now underway.

The memorial tablet, which is made of Chinese black granite, will measure one square foot, and will be a depiction the Victoria Cross medal with Edward Brooks’s name beneath.

Oxford Mail:

Pictured on the front cover: Sgt Major Edward Brookes

Company Sergeant Major Edward Brooks, who served in the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, was awarded the Victoria Cross for capturing a German machine gun at Fayet, in France, on April 28, 1917, and turning it on the enemy.

He managed to capture 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.