Their Duty Done
A tribute to the men and women of the East Gippsland Region who Died as a result of their participation in World War One : 1914 - 1919
Their bodies are buried in peace; but their names liveth for evermore.
  389 Private Vernon Thomas Brookes – Wangrabelle Killed in Action 25 April 1915
….. rode 60 miles on horseback to enlist
Vern Brookes had been the head teacher at Wangrabelle for several years when he rode 60 miles on horseback to enlist with the First Division at Orbost on 1 October 1914. Born in Ballarat, like William Carstairs, he would have towered over his fellow enlistees being over six feet tall. He trained and sailed with many other East Gippslanders, including Lane, McDonald and others, many of whom fell in the same circumstances – during the landing at Gallipoli. After Gallipoli his brother, Leslie, sought out some of those who were there and discovered that Vern was hit when landing and only lived about ten minutes. Nearly the whole boat load was hit. One who survived, an old Boer soldier, said that the last thing he did was to give away his drink bottle to him because you’ll want it more than I do. Brookes had told his mother that he went so that the horrors of Belgium would not be repeated in Australia and he expected that her sons would make history. He was 22 years old and is remembered on the Orbost Shire Honour roll and at No. 2 Outpost Cemetery in Gallipoli.