A Soldier of the 6th Division is the memoir of a young machine-gunner through the last year of the Great War accompanied by a detailed account of his actions in the context of the great battles he fought in, from Cambrai to the occupation of the Rhineland.
Tom Brookbank was in the thick of the First World War. This is a lively and exciting personal memoir of a machine gunner in the Great War who must have counted himself lucky to have survived.
Extensively researched, “A Soldier of the 6th Division” accurately establishes the experiences and actions of Tom Brookbank. With every detail examined, including Tom’s company, section and, indeed, the actual gun that he operated, Michael Brookbank takes us on a journey through Tom’s war.
Reviewed by Michael Lucas.
A Soldier of the 6th Division includes an account, written from memory in 1976, by Thomas Brookbank, formerly a sergeant in the Machine Gun Corps, who served with 6th Division from Cambrai through, the Allied counterattacks, and to the Rhineland.
Brookbank was clearly a keen and effective soldier; he was a sergeant at 19. Apart from narrating his experiences, there are digressions on frontline life. While this memoir has interesting features, it is less than 60 pages. Nevertheless, it offers a detailed exploration by Thomas’s son, Michael, of the experiences of his father and his unit, based largely on many unit war diaries. This is well done, with many photographs and maps, although some of the latter are hard to read which unbalances the book. It will, perhaps, appeal more to those interested in 6th Division than the M.G.C.
A SOLDIER OF THE 6TH DIVISION Incorporating Recollections of The Machine Gun Corps
It is predominately the detailed account of the actions of the 16th Machine Gun Company and of A Company, 6th Battalion MGC that take a full 260 pages of this book that will appeal to the military historian. Privately published this book is well produced with good typesetting, and clear colour maps