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THE unmarked grave of a forgotten First World War hero from Wirral has finally been recognised 95 years after he was buried.

A Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone was unveiled and a service took place at the grave of Staff Sergeant Wilfred Brooke at Rake Lane Cemetery in Wallasey.

Wirral Globe:

The headstone unveiled on grave of Staff Sergeant Wilfred Brooke today. Picture: Geoff Davies 

Born in Bradford, West Yorkshire in 1880, he later moved to New Brighton and went on to become one of the most decorated medics of the Great War.

His recognition, more than a century after enlisting, follows years of research by of research by Warrant Officer Class 1 Bob Dixon, a present day soldier serving with a 208 (Liverpool) Field Hospital.

Bob said: “The name Wilfred Brooke is little known.

"He was a volunteer in 1914, went to France in 1915 and remained there until the end of the war where he went from Private soldier to Acting Warrant Officer Class One and holder of five awards for gallantry.

"Forgotten for the last 95 years, it has been a privilege for me to not only ensure he receives the headstone he deserves, but to help give Wilfred finally get some public recognition for his outstanding service."

Mr Brooke enlisted with the Army in Liverpool on September 26, 1914 and left for France almost a year later.

His unit was the 2nd West Lancashire Divisional Field Ambulance, but he was attached to 63rd (2/2nd West Lancashire) Field Ambulance.

Wirral Globe:

Sounding The Last Post during unveiling ceremony for headstone on grave of Staff Sergeant Wilfred Brooke today. Picture: Geoff Davies 

He was awarded for several acts of conspicuous gallantry, with honours including two Distinguished Conduct Medals and The Military Medal.

Wirral Globe:

Paying respects during unveiling ceremony for headstone on grave of Staff Sergeant Wilfred Brooke today. Picture: Geoff Davies 

He was also mentioned in Despatches and received the Croix de Guerre from Belgium.

Wirral Globe:

Retired Major John McLellan and Ex Sgt Peter Stobart pay respects during unveiling ceremony for headstone on grave of Staff Sergeant Wilfred Brooke. Picture: Geoff Davies

He was discharged from the army in 1919 because of wounds and illnesses he contracted while in service and died from tuberculosis in 1920, aged 39.

The inscription on the headstone reads: "33928 Staff Sjt W.C. Brooke D.C.M & Bar, M.M; Royal Army Medical Corps".

Wirral Globe:

Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Les Rowlands, pays respects during unveiling ceremony for headstone on grave of Staff Sergeant Wilfred Brooke. Picture: Geoff Davies

After completing his service, he returned home to England and is known to have married Beatrice Brooke of Wallasey.

Mr Dixon is now trying to trace Mr Brooke's relatives. He can be contacted on 0151 488 1030.

Wirral Globe:

Warrant Officer Bob Dixon (RSM) at unveiling of headstone on grave of Staff Sergeant Wilfred Brooke. Picture: Geoff Davies