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Richard was born in Wolverhampton in 1892, the son of Richard and Charlotte Brookes. In 1901 he was living with his parents at 52 Bloomsbury Street, Wolverhampton, along with his brothers William A. and Robert B. In 1911 he was boarding at the home of William Henry Hill at Prestwood Road, Heath Town, Wolverhampton. He was a shop assistant dealing in foreign meat.

His name was listed in the Midland Counties Express on 5 September 1914 as one of the men who was willing to enlist with the Special Service Companies. His address then was given as 11 Dalton Street, Wolverhampton. However, I have been unable to confirm details of his military service. In addition, he died in Wolverhampton in 1916, but I have been unable to find any further details of his death at the age of only 24. His name does not appear on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site, so it presumably was not war-related.