Po/SS/10611(RFR/Po/B/5680) Petty Officer. John BREWSTER. RN. Drake Bn., R.N.Div. DOW 4/6/15. Native of Darfield, Barnsley, West Riding of Yorkshire.
John Brewster, Darfield, south Yorkshire, was killed during the First World War Dardanelles Campaign in 1915. He was my mother’s great uncle and it was my mother who rescued this valuable newspaper cutting regarding his death from her mother’s personal collection when she died.
John Brewster was killed whilst serving with the Royal Naval Division Drake Battalion, where he had attained the rank of Petty Officer. His service record states that he had also held the ranks of Acting Leading Seaman and Leading Seaman, previously. One source records his first occupation in the Royal Navy as 1st Stoker aboard HMS Dreadnought.
John Brewster was not killed instantly. He was wounded on Thursday 3rd June 1915, dying the next day, Friday 4th June 1915 from his wounds. The newspaper article reports his death as Saturday 5th June 1915.
The Third Battle of Krithia commenced at noon on the very day that John Brewster died. The military records list him as dying in this battle despite John being wounded the day before and taking no part in it.
Friday 4th June 1915 - Third Battle of Krithia RND, Drake Battalion BREWSTER,, John Petty Officer, (RFR B 5680) SS 10611 (Po), wounded 3 June 1915, DOW
RND – Royal Navy Division | RFR – Royal Fleet Reserve |
Po – Enrolled Portsmouth | DOW – Died Of Wounds
DARFIELD PETTY OFFICER KILLED
A Tribute from the Dardanelles
Petty Officer Brewster, Darfield R.N.D. (Killed)
We regret to announce the death in action at the Dardanelles on June 5th of Petty Officer John Brewster of Darfield, whose widow has received the following consolatory messages:-
Gallipoli, June 9th.
Dear Madame, – You will have been told before you get this letter of the death of your husband. He was the petty officer of my platoon at the time of his death, and was working by my side when he was shot by a chance bullet in the head. I am glad to say that he felt no pain, and never recovered consciousness. From the first there was no hope of his recovery, but he was brought down to the base and buried there, and his grave has been tended by his brother petty officers. All who knew him, the officers, petty officers and men of the company had the highest regard for him, and his death has been a very real loss to all of us, and especially to myself and the first platoon. Both I and the men under him looked upon him as a friend, and as a man in whom we had the greatest confidence.
We all feel the deepest sympathy with you in your sad loss. –
H. M. FARRAR, Sub-Lieut.
There was also the official note of condolence from the King and Queen. Mrs. Brewster has also received a sympathetic letter from the Rev. A. W. Douglas, vicar of Thurnscoe.
John Brewster is buried at Skew Bridge Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, near Gallipoli, Turkey. Grave / Memorial Reference: Special Memorial B. 26.
John Brewster’s service numbers of SS10611 and B/5680 were the subject of digitizing errors in the 1990’s by the War Graves Commission. More information here, half way down the page.
John Brewster was 28 years old when he died, which implies his birth in 1887.
John Brewster married Nellie Hambleton, daughter of Reuben Hambleton and Annie Smith on the 12th August 1909 in All Saints Church, Darfield.