Bill Brooks joined the 4th Hussars at Colchester in 1937.
He became an accomplished horseman and I took him on as my second servant (groom). My horses were never better cared for, and Bill came with me when I took my horses home with me to Ireland during my leave.
He was transferred to the reserve at the end of 1938 so that he had a very short time in civvy street before being recalled on mobilisation when he became an efficient wireless operator and gunner.
During the long retreat in the Greek campaign, I had to find a new gunner operator for my tank so sent for Bill. In the little Mark VI B tanks, the commander and operator spent long hours alone together, and I could not have found a more pleasant companion. We were able to cheer each other up, talking about the horses and the sport on more peaceful days.
Like many others in the Regiment, he was eventually taken prisoner and remained so until repatriated to civilian life at the end of the war.
Bill continued to take an interest in horses, helping his niece’s husband from knowing nothing about them at all to becoming a member of the Enfield Chase and owner of the winner of a couple of point to points.
He himself rode in hunter trials not without breaking a few bones in the process!
More recently, owing to failing health, he had to confine his sporting activities to fishing.
We extend our sincere sympathy to his widow in her great loss.