Born 1895 at Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire

Killed 20th September 1917, Belgium, age 22

Commemorated on Panel 7, Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres; Panel No. 46, Roll of Honour, Australian War Memorial, Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial; Holme Pierrepont Lychgate, Nottinghamshire; St Peter’s churchyard, East Bridgford, on the family headstone of the grave of his parents James and Elizabeth Brewitt. Epitaph: ‘There’s nothing but peace can betide; sweet peace, the gift of God’s love’.

Brother of Joseph who also served in WWI

1901 Census

Age 6 living in East Bridgford with mother Elizabeth 27 (née Rodgers) brother Joseph, 3 and sister Annie 6 months. His father James 28 is living with William, his uncle, and Jane Pike in Holme Pierrepont.

1911 Census

Age 16, employed as a farm servant by Henry Brailsford Wood at Holly Farm, Bassingfield, Notts.

Military Service

Rank: Private

Service number: 3081

Military Unit: 6th Australian Infantry Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Australian Imperial Force

Theatres of War: Egypt; France and Flanders

Previously served in the 1/8th Bn, The Sherwood Forester, Territorial Force, England.

8.7.15:   Enlisted as a Private in 6th Battalion, 10th Reinforcements in Sassafras, Victoria, Australia

29.9.15: Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT RMS Osterley

November 15. Disembarked Suez, train to Heliopolis for training with Battalion in Egypt.

7.1.16:    War service: taken on strength, 6th Battalion, Tel el Kebir.

26.3.16:  Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force. Embarked with Battalion for France per SS Ballarat.

2.4.16:    Disembarked Marseilles to Bailleul.
Transferred in France to 6th Battalion, Machine Gun Company.

25. 7.16:  Wounded in action (gun shot wound, left shoulder) at the start of the Battle of Pozières (July 23rd – Sept 3rd 1916). Admitted to No. 1 Canadian General Hospital, Etaples.

7.8.16:     Discharged to Base Depot.

Rejoined his battalion at some point. They were at Ypres immediately after Pozières then returned to the Somme during the winter of 1916 for defensive duties.

His unit was at Ypres in 1917. He was killed during the Battle of Menin Road Ridge (20th – 26th September), which was part of the Third Battle of Ypres. He was posted missing after the Battle of Polygon Wood which took place from 26th September – 3rd October. No further word.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission:  Name inscribed on memorial to missing at Menin Gate, Ypres.

Pension to father of 10 shillings (50p) per fortnight

Medals Awarded

1914-1915 Star, British War and Victory

Go to WWI Timeline to see how this man’s death is part of the wider story of the war.

Other information

Arrived Australia at South Sassafras with William Coleman in December 1913 where he then worked as a labourer before enlisting.

Australian War memorial, Canberra