The Men

The Men

Sunday, 19 January 2014

* Richard Gardiner Brewster

Richard G. Brewster South Irish Horse
The Erasmian October 1918
'R. G. Brewster (1905-07), 2nd Lieut., Special Cavalry Reserve, serving with the Lancers, was reported in our last number as missing, but it has since been announced that he was killed on March 21st last. 
'He was the son of Mr. W. T. Brewster, of Audenville, Iona Road, Glasnevin, and when leaving school took first place in the United Kingdom in the Second Division Civil Service Examination. When the war broke out he was employed in the Department of Agriculture; he and his brother Theo both joined up at once in the South Irish Horse, and he served with the First Expeditionary Force from August 17th, 1914, took part in the retreat from Mans, in the battles of the Marne and the Aisne and the first battle of Ypres. 
'He obtained his Commission in November, 1916, and returned to France in April, 1917. Until his death in March at Roussoy, near St. Quentin, he had come right through the war scatheless. Everyone who knew him will remember his bright, cheerful disposition, and straightforward honourable character. His brother is now a 2nd Lieut. in the Lancers.'  Source: HSD Archive 
Information courtesy the Board of Governors of the Schools founded by Erasmus Smith Esq.
The Irish Times, March 21, 1919. In Memoriam.
Brother Theo Brewster, (ex-HSD) who survived the war.
Brewster-In affectionate remembrance of Richard, South Horse, who paid the supreme sacrifice, March 21st, 1918. “He has fought the good fight.” Inserted by his sisters and brothers….Brewster-In loving memory of our dear son, Richard Gardiner, Second Lieutenant South Irish Horse, First Expeditionary Force, killed in action, near ronsoy, march 21, 1918, second eldest son of Mr and Mrs Brewster, Audenville, Iona Road. “He was not, for God took him.”

Irish Independent; Brewster—Mr and Brewster and family, of “Audenville,” Iona Road, Glasnevin, Dublin, beg to tender their grateful thanks to their many friends for their sympathy in the reported loss in action of their dear son, Second Lieutenant Richard G Brewster, South Irish Horse, and to ask them to accept this acknowledgement, as it is impossible to communicate with all individually, as they would wish.

Westmeath Independent, October, 1914.

Soldiers Letters. “A Fairly Quiet Time.”
The Four Brewster brothers, courtesy of the Brewster family.
His many friends will be pleased to learn that Mr Richard Brewster (son of Mr W T Brewster, Secretary and Manager of the “Independent Newspapers” Ltd), who is serving with the South Irish Horse in the Expeditionary Force in France, is, to quote his won words, “quite well and still in the land of the living.” Writing to his sister, Mr Brewster says; “We are having a fairly quiet time just now, but are expecting more excitement shortly. We are all being inoculated to-day against typhoid fever. I believe it makes one sicker about a day, but its worth getting done, so we will often have to drink fairly unclean water perhaps.

“I heard a couple of days ago in a letter from a fellow in Dublin to a fellow here that some of us were reported dead—myself killed and another dead from pneumonia. For God’s sake never believe a single report of that kind unless it is given by authority of the War Office I can assure you that if you heard it, I am still quite a lively ‘corpse.’ “Don’t forget to send me later on a piece of plum pudding because I don’t expect to be home this side of Christmas.”
Writing to friends in Athlone under date October 1st, Mr Brewster, who is full of optimism, says;--“It is a great experience here and I would not miss it for worlds. We are very well fed and clothed and needless to say are in good form and spirits. No news from here of course so good-bye.” Br Brewster is serving with the South Irish Horse, and some few weeks ago was reported as dead or missing. His interesting letters show that he is very much alive and taking his soldiering duties very pleasantly.

Westmeath Independent, April, 1918. Lieutenant Richard Brewster. Son of Mr W T Brewster, manager and secretary of the “Irish Independent” has been missing since the earlier engagements of the present great push. The gallant young soldier has seen a great deal of active service since the early stages of the war and put up a fine military record. Naturally great uneasiness has been caused his family by the intelligence that he is missing. We sincerely hope more satisfactory news may speedily reach them.

Newspaper clipping found in the school archive
Westmeath Independent, August, 1918. Late Second Lieutenant Brewster, S.I.H. What promised to be an exceptionally brilliant career has been cut short by the death of Second Lieutenant R Brewster, of the South Irish Horse, who was reported “missing” after the big offensive last March, and is not officially reported killed. Before joining up at the outbreak of the war the deceased young gentleman who had a distinguished collegiate course, held a Civil Service appointment in the Department of Agriculture. He was immensely popular with all who knew him, and during his war service earned unstinted credit from his superiors for skill and efficiency. We sincerely convey our regret to his father, Mr W T Brewster, Secretary and Manager of the “Irish Independent” papers, and to the other members of his family.

Irish Independent; Lieutenant Brewster’s Death Recorded. Sincere sympathy will be extended by many friends to Mr William T Brewster and family, “Audenville,” Iona Road, Glasnevin, manager and secretary, Independent Newspapers, Ltd., who has been officially notified that his second son, Richard G Brewster, Second Lieutenant South Irish Horse, was killed in action on 1st March last, having been at first reported missing. He was educated at the High School, Dublin, took 1st place, United Kingdom, in the 2nd Division Civil Service examination, and was engaged when war broke out in the Department of Agriculture. He served in France with the First Expeditionary Force from August 17, 1914, took part in the retreat from Mons, was decorated with the Mons Star, and was at the Marne and Aisne and the first battle of Ypres.

He served afterwards with the Squadron S.I.H.engaged as divisional cavalry to 2nd Division, and was sent home for a commission in November, 1916, being trained at Netheravon. Having received the commission in his own Regiment, the S.I.H. in February, 1917, he returned to France in April, 1917, and served with distinction (when attached to the Royal Irish Regiment) he took part in the operations at Rossoy, near St Quentin, with the 16th Division, and was reported missing, and subsequently reported killed in battle near Rossoy on March 21, 1918.

Source: Tom Burnell

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