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Armitage Brooke 264

Contributor: Pat Benatmane
Decade: 1910s

Private 13732 Armitage Brooke volunteered on 14 Nov, 1914 and joined the Coldstream Guards. By August, 1915 he was in France on the Western Front. At Ypres, phosgene gas was used by the Germans, and in the 2nd Battle of Ypres, chlorine gas was used for the first time. Chlorine gas was green and had a distinctive smell, so forces could cover their mouths with a damp pad to mitigate some of the effects. Phosgene, however, was colourless, and caused blistering and swelling of the eyelids. In retaliation, the British used gas canisters on 25 Sept, 1915. Unfortunately, the wind blew the gas back onto their own men and the Germans blew up the cannisters not already launched, causing further British casualties. It is possible that Armitage was caught up in some form of gas attack as by 25 Aug, 1916, he had been medically discharged. He had a mediastinal tumour. This is the area between the lungs and the spine and close to the heart. Even if the tumour were benign, it would push on the heart and lungs, causing shortness of breath, weight loss and coughing up of blood. Armitage received the Victory and War medals, as well as the silver War Badge, number 288,688. This he would wear to show that he was injured or wounded. He was 25yrs old.

Heritage number 414. Signed from Ryhill, York. Debut v Halifax. Played at 2. Season 1913/14. 2 appearances. 1 try = 3 points

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