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Henry Brock


202743 Sergeant

4th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, 154th Infantry Brigade, 51st (Highland) Division

Age: 20

Date of Death: 20.9.17

Buried: Tyne Cot Memorial, Panel 135 to 136

Family history: Son of Henry and Isabella Brock, 82 Forth Street, Grangemouth. He had three brothers and a sister. He was a clerk with P and J Wilkie, timber merchants, before he enlisted at the age of 17 just after the outbreak of the war. He was also an enthusiastic member of the 1st Grangemouth Company of the Boys Brigade, as well as being a member of Kerse Church Choir.

The action leading to his death

On the 19 September the battalion had got into their assembly positions in preparation for their attack on the German positions southwest of Poelcappelle astride the Keerselare to Poelcappelle Road in what was listed in the Battle Nomenclature for Third Ypres as the Battle of the Menin Road. The objectives being Rose House, Delta House, Church Trench, and Malta House. 154th Infantry Brigade attacked at 5.40am with the 4th Seaforth Highlanders and the 9th Royal Scots being allocated the first objective on the right of the line of attack. The second objective was allotted to the 4th Gordons on the left and the 7th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders on the right. The Seaforths experienced a lot of trouble in taking their objective around Pheasant Farm with heavy German resistance from the pill boxes in that area. Having taken their objective the Gordons then passed through the Seaforths and reached their objective, with the exception of ‘D’ Company who had been held up by the Division on the Brigades left who had been held up around White House. Casualties were at this stage 6 officers and 60 Other Ranks.

WW1 - The Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium
Linesman map

At noon the Germans counter attacked but were repulsed. The battalion was receiving casualties as a result of the British artillery fire falling short, the Lewis Gun team at Delta House being killed by their own artillery fire, with the front line having to be withdrawn 30 to 50 yards in places. At 5.30pm the Germans attacked between Delta House and the Lekkerboterbeek. The Battalion HQ was in the Tank located near Malta House on the Poelcappelle Road and they fired all the Small Arms Ammunition (S.A.A.) and most of the tanks 6lb shells, having been instructed in its use by the Tank officer before he left the tank. Despite stiff resistance from the Gordons, supported by a Company from the 8th Argyll’s attached from 152nd Brigade, they ran out of S.A.A. and had to withdraw. They were joined around dusk by two company's from the 8th Argyll’s. A reorganisation of the Battalion now took place. ’A’ Company held the right flank, and posts of men collected from various places were pushed out from Poelcapelle Road on a north west line that ran 60 yards in front of Cemetery Road. The centre of the line was weakly held, ‘C’ and ‘D’ Company’s were on the left and had taken up fairly strong defensive positions north east of the cemetery. With the 8th Argyll’s in the rear the position appeared to be strongly held.

Every Company officer was killed or wounded and Other Rank casualties numbered 200 dead, wounded and missing.


A friend of Henry wrote to his father intimating to him in the letter that Henry had been killed by a sniper.

Medals Awarded

Victory Medal, British Medal

WW1 - The Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium

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