John (Jack) Brooks 1st Bn HLI 1944-46

John (Jack) Brooks 1st Bn HLI 1944-46

Provided by Lee Ruffell

My Grandfather John “Jack” Brooks served with 1HLI 1944-1946.
Initially he was in training for aerial gunnery in the RAF.  He was transferred to Infantry (it was that or the coal mines) and somehow a boy from Kent ended up with the Scots.
He was among the first of the 53rd Welsh troops to land at Arromanche at the end of June 1944.  He got a weeks leave after getting some shrapnel in the leg and went home to get married.
At sometime during the fracas he and and some other guys were sheltering in an old farmhouse which got mortared.  Afterwards there were dead cows everywhere, so being a butcher by trade he went out and cut some steaks.  While cooking them up with some onions from the fields the Officers appeared to see what was going on.  Eventually some ended up with the CO and he made my Grandfather his cook!

Men of 1st Bn HLI at the Pyramids 1946 Jack Brooks (my Grandfather) is front row on the right. Back row in the middle is Mitchell.

After Hamburg he went to Palestine with the Battalion.
Grandad cooked for about 200 officers on the 27th August 1946 at Suez the occasion was Presentation of Colours held by General Sir Miles Dempsey.  Have got a booklet with officers names in and the Ceremony (would be nice to find out a bit more if possible).
Unfortunately he came down with TB while out on patrol and was repatriated back to Preston Hall.  After treatment he was finally demobbed in 1949.

This is a brief history, he has lots of stories, some getting a little hazy at the ripe age of 84.

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