The Western Front Association rembers soldiers who served and died, from the Allies and Central Powers, during the First World War.


There will usually be a picture, though not always. There is a short personal biography: when and where they were born and what they did before the war, followed by their enlistment, training, and service.


All WW1 forces, all sides, on all fronts, east to west remembered as individual soldiers, nurses, labourers and others on the home front, their lives, service, their loss, burial and commemoration. 


Some can be more detailed than others. Included will be their final action or cause of death and their final resting place. 


Research by David O'Mara.


Readers are invited to add their comments and to submit ideas for people to feature.

14 March 1917 Pte Willie Cook4258 Pte Willie Cook, 2/6th Bn Duke of Wellington's (W Riding) Regiment.

Born in Padiham, Lancashire in 1881, Willie later resided in Burnley (Campbell Street) and then in Earby (White Lion Street). Willie was a weaver at Shuttleworth and Co's Victoria shed in Earby prior to enlistment. Enlisting in late 1915 into the 2/6th Duke of Wellington's, he served in France from October 1916 but he was struck down with severe frostbite in March 1917. Evacuated to a coastal hospital at Wimereux, Willie died on 14 March 1917. He is buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery.

14 March 1917 killed on this day.

Research by David O'Mara

13 March 1918 Lt Ronald Baines BrookesLt Ronald Baines Brookes, 55 Sqdn 


Born at Ingleton, Yorkshire on 19 November 1896, Ronald had emigrated to Canada prior to the war where he was employed as a salesman in Toronto.

He enlisted into the Canadian Army Medical Corps at Toronto on 10 November 1914 and, as a Private soldier numbered 1572, served on the Western Front from mid 1915 with the 5th Canadian Field Ambulance.

Offered a commission in 1917, Ronald joined the RFC as a 2nd Lieutenant and served with 55 Squadron taking part in day-bombing sorties.

Returning from a mission on 13 March 1918, whilst being harassed by German fighters, Ronald's aircraft was seen to go down (under control) behind enemy lines.

Posted as missing, it was for hoped for some time that he might have been a prisoner of war due to the controlled way in which his plane was seen to go down, however, it would appear that Ronald had died upon the impact of his plane hitting the ground.

He is buried in Neuf-Brisach Communal Cemetery Extension, Haut-Rhin, France.


13 March 1918 killed in action

Research by David O'Mara

 Photograph of 2nd Lieut James Smyth RFC
 2nd Lieut James Smyth


2nd Lieut. James Smyth, 2 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps


Born in Ballymacarrett, Belfast in 1889, James moved with his family to England while he was a child.

Living at Plumstead, London, he was employed as a printer’s engineer before getting married and gaining employment with the Borough Engineering Company.

Although originally dissuaded from enlisting due to his occupation, James eventually joined the Royal Flying Corps and was commissioned on 1 August 1916.

After training as a pilot, he was sent to France to join 2 Squadron with whom he remained for the remainder of his career.

Whilst engaged on a photographic recconnaissance mission, James’ B.E.2d –serial number 6232 was attacked by a Halberstadt D.II of Jasta II piloted by Manfred von Richtofen. James's observer was 2nd Lt. Edward Byrne.

It was around mid-day on 11 March 1917.

Crashing south of La Folie Wood on Vimy Ridge, both men were killed instantly upon impact.

Richtofen’s 26th victory.

James Smyth and Edward Byrne are buried in Cabaret Rouge Military Cemetery, Souchez.


11 March 1917 killed in action.



Research by David O'Mara.




Bond of Sacrifice – First World War Portraits Collection - Imperial War Museum ( www. ) British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Army Medal Office.

WWI Medal Index Cards. In the care of The Western Front Association.

The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls; Class: WO 329

Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA), 1911.

The Monthly Army List for November 1916 - War Office 1916

Under the Guns of the Red Baron – Franks,Giblin & McRery Pub: London 1998

Commonwealth War Graves Commission ( )

Officers Died in the Great War – HMSO 1921

10 March 1916 Sdt Jules Pierre Caboux1936 Sdt Jules Pierre Caboux, 98e RI.

Resident at 11, Rue Lamure, Roanne at the time of his enlistment in August 1914. Jules was born at Lagnesle, Loire on 20 February 1888. After seeing service on the Oise and the Somme fronts throughout 1915, his regiment moved to take part in the Verdun battle in the first week of March 1916. Jules was killed in action on the Mort-Homme hill on 10 March 1916; he has no known grave.

10 March 1916

Research by David O'Mara

 Pte Bird


Private Alfred Bird, 3rd Dragoon Guards

Alfred Bird was born at Heacham, Norfolk, on 30 July 1896, and was the seventh of the ten children of John and Mary Bird. After schooling in Heacham, he moved to Sussex to work at the Bineham Estate at Chailey, where his brother Harry was already a groom; Alfred was a footman in the house.

In September 1914 he enlisted into the cavalry and after training was employed in the records office at the Canterbury depot until he was old enough to be sent overseas. He was posted to the 3rd Dragoon Guards (3DG) in France in January, 1916, at a time when the three regiments of the 6th Cavalry Brigade were each providing men for the 6th Dismounted Battalion manning the trenches near Vermelles, rotating with a similarly constituted battalion from the 8th Cavalry Brigade.

For the next five months 3DG rarely ventured away from Offin, near Montreuil-sur-Mer, but were brought forward in anticipation of success during the opening of the Battle of the Somme, and again in mid-September for the Battle of Flers - Courcelette, but apart from providing working parties they saw no action.

Throughout the rest of the following autumn, the winter and early spring 3DG were sometimes called upon to provide working parties, but the majority of the regiment spent most of the time well away from the front.

Alfred was obviously an accomplished horseman as he was reported as winning the high jump and tent-pegging events at an equestrian sports.

In early April, 1917, 3DG moved forward for the forthcoming Battle of Arras. When the battle opened at 5.30 a.m. on 9 April the cavalry were stood to, and during the day advanced to the eastern suburbs of Arras, where they then spent a bitterly cold snowy night in bivouacs.

At 10.30 a.m. the following day the 3rd Cavalry Division moved to a point about 1,000 yards north of Tilloy-les-Mofflaines, and 3DG were tasked with constructing four trench crossings at the newly captured Wancourt – Feuchy Line. Later in the day the 6th and 8th Cavalry Brigades moved to a point about 1,000 yards north of Feuchy Chapel, where they came under shell fire that caused some casualties. As the objectives at Monchy-le-Preux had not been captured by the infantry the two brigades then moved back to a safer position and spent a second uncomfortable night in bivouacs.

At 5.30 a.m. on 11 April, 3DG moved back to the position of the previous afternoon and three hours later received reports that the infantry had captured Monchy-Le-Preux. Orders were issued to advance and take up positions along the road that ran from the southern outskirts of the village to the junction with the main Arras – Cambrai road.

As 3DG galloped across the open ground in front of Monchy-le-Preux they came under artillery and machine-gun fire and Alfred and his horse were killed by a shell.

With 3DG having just 23 men killed that day, many of whom died after reaching the front line, it is possible that photographs exist of the aftermath of this particular incident as an official photographer was in the area and took pictures of the cavalry, included some of a small cluster of dead horses and men.

It is likely that Alfred was buried nearby, but if found during the clearing of the battlefields he was not identified and consequently he is named on the Arras Memorial to the Missing. He is also commemorated on the three war memorials in Heacham, Norfolk, and the one in Chailey, Sussex.

20 year-old Private Alfred Bird, 3rd Dragoon Guards, killed at Monchy-Le-Preux, 11 April 1917.

 Photograph of Sdt Jean Francois Brouzes
 Sdt Jean Francois Brouzes



1395 Sdt. Jean François Brouzes, 139e Régiment d’Infanterie


Born at St-Chèly, Aveyron on 1st October 1893, Jean was a farmer in his civilian life.

Already a serving soldier at the time of the outbreak of war (he had enlisted at Rodez in the autumn of 1913), he was stationed at Aurillac when war was declared. Almost immediately, his regiment mobilised and Jean was in action near Cirey in Lorraine by the 14 August 1914.

Following the Battle of Lorraine, he took part in the ‘race to the sea’ and the 1st Battle of Ypres before settling into routine trench duty on the southern Somme front for the greater part of 1915. The day after the launch of the Battle of Verdun, Jean’s regiment was moved southwards to assist with the French defence and, after several days of reorganisation behind the lines entered the battle in the Bois de Corbeaux near to Cumieres-le-Mort-Homme.

On their first night in this sector, Jean’s regiment suffered numerous casualties following a German bombardment and (unsuccessful) infantry assault on their position which was followed the following day by a French counter-attack. During this counter-attack through the Bois de Corbeaux on 10 March 1916, Jean was killed in action and posted as ‘missing’.

Remaining as officially ‘disparu’ into the 1920’s his remains were eventually located during battlefield clearances and he is now buried in the Nécropole Nationale at Avocourt, Meuse.

10 March 1916 killed in action




Research by David O'Mara






Livre d’Or de L’Aveyron (2 Vols) Pub. 1922

Resumé Historique du 139e Régiment d’Infanterie 1914- 1918 ( )

Tableau d’Honneur – Morts pour La France Pub. Paris 1921

Sepultures de Guerre (

Morts Pour La France de la Première Guerre Mondiale (fiches des soldats MPF) ( )

Journaux des marches et opérations des unités engagées dans la Première Guerre mondiale ( )

Aveyron Archives ( )

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