Private 129147 Herbert Brewer
Although shown on the war memorial as a private his rank should read Pioneer.
Nothing is known of his time in Hungerford but it is believed he may have lived near Atherton Crescent.
He died on Sunday the 23rd June 1918 and is buried in Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France.
He served in No 1 Special Company, Royal Engineers.
- Royal Engineer's Cap Badge
Nothing is known of his service but special companies were those responsible for using gas. He died of wounds and we do not know when he received them.
The Special Companies RE:
No Special Companies existed in 1914. They were a war time invention. The Great War was the first in which chemical weapons were deployed. There was great moral shock and outrage at the first use of Chlorine, released by the Germans against defenceless French troops in the Ypres Salient. The Special Companies of the Royal Engineers were formed to develop the British response.
By 1918, gas was used both offensively and defensively, delivered by a range of sophisticated techniques.
It is believed that Number 1 Special Company to which Pioneer Brewer belonged was a Stokes Mortar unit constituting part of the 5th Battalion of the Special Brigade.