Percival Brooks was born on July 29, 1895, in Dixie, Toronto Township, the son of John Thomas Brooks, a gardener from England and his wife, Isabella Jane Curry of Cooksville.
Percy, as he was known, enlisted at Toronto on January 14, 1916. On his attestation form he was described as 5 feet 5¾ inches tall, with a fair complexion, light brown eyes and brown hair. He was single, a stenographer by occupation, and had no previous military experience. He gave his father, John Brooks, of Islington, Ontario, as his next of kin. He was assigned to the 166th Battalion, the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, and given regimental number 669746.
The 166th embarked in two drafts in October 1916 for England, arriving at Shorncliffe Training Camp, Seaford, England. Principal drafts were transferred to the 3rd, 38th, 75th and 124th Battalions. On November 6, 1916 Percy was promoted Acting Lance Corporal and on November 13 was transferred to Canadian Signals Base. By December 27 he was transferred back to the 166th Battalion and in early January 1917 was transferred to the 12th Battalion at East Sandling Camp in Kent. On April 24, 1917 Percy reverted to permanent grade with the 75th Battalion, known as the “Mississauga” Battalion. The 75th had arrived in France on August12, 1916 where they served until May 2, 1919, returning to Canada on June 1, 1919.
Sadly, Private Percival Brooks did not return to Canada. He had been wounded slightly in May of 1918 and was killed in action on September 30, 1918. The following item appeared in the Toronto Star of November 19, 1918:
“Pte. P. Brooks of Islington, who enlisted in Toronto with a Q.O.R. unit, and who was reported wounded last May, is today listed as killed in action. He was a native of Dixie, and joined the colors at the age of 20. He was unmarried.”
Percival was awarded the Military Medal posthumously and is buried in the Canadian Cemetery at Tilloy-les-Cambrai, in France.