Brooksmith Eldred Stuart 1889

Eldred Stuart Brooksmith

Father’s Mm:  Eldred John Brooksmith1856 Cheltenham. Barrister-1932

Mother Nm: Mary Louisa Blencowe [3682] b 11.8.1854 Brackley: Oldest known Ancestor – Thomas Blencowe 1475 Marston St Lawrence

Marriage Comments: 16 Dec 1920 • St Bartholomew the Great, London.

K comments: Brother  John Douglas was KIA on 21st March 1918 when his Artillery Position was overrun. Father may have served in WW1 as he was attached to Woolwich Military Academy before emigrating to Canada and may have helped the Royal Navy through the war with his mathematics expertise that was used in military calculations.

Spouse comments: Evelyn Pearl Dudley Driver born 3 JUL 1899 • Chertsey, Surrey  daughter of Evelyn Ada Blencowe [3293] born 3.9.1869 Brackley died11 JAN 1951 • Folkestone

Children: John Stuart Brooksmith 1926

Research: Ancestry FMP Daphne Austin, Roger Blinko.


 Born 3rd September 1889
Royal Navy
Royal Navy
1891 Census

With mother at Pevensey, Sussex, England.

1901 Census

School Pupil in Reading Berkshire with brother John Douglas

  • Eldred attended Cheltenham College which was at the time a Grammar school His father and grandfather had a long relationship with the School as they both taught mathematics there. See article in Gallery.
  • Joined the Royal Navy Rank as a  Junior Officer.
  • 16 Jan 06-15 Jan 08 Allocated to the ship King Alfred and in service in the South China Sea.
HMS King Alfred was one of four Drake-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy around 1900. She served as flagship of the China Station from 1906 until relieved in 1910.
Group portrait of officers and crew aboard HMS King Alfred, a Drake Class Twin Screw Armoured Cruiser. Believed to be in the photograph are: Vice Admiral Sir Arthur W Moore KCB KCVO OMG; Flag Commander Arthur V Vyvyan; Flag Lieutenant Henry P Smyth-Osbourne; Secretary Charles H Rowe; Clerks to the Secretary, William D T Morrish, John C Boardman, Cecil F Turner; Captain Cecil F Thursby; Commander Montagu W Consett; Lieutenant (Lt) Henry C R Boucher; Lt Bernard J H Ward; Lt Hugh J Tweedie; Lt Arthur Stopford; Lt Patrick E Parker; Lt Hugh D Colville; Lt Francis E Byrne; Lt Maurice B R Blackwood; Lt Ralph B Janvrin; Engineer Commander Thomas C E Hughes; Engineer Lieutenant Joseph N Tucker; Engineer Lieutenant Francis C Haydon; Major, Royal Marines Richard L Bayliff; Captain, Royal Marines Artillery Francis G Lane-Poole; Lt, Royal Marines Ernest G Cheeseman; Chaplain Reverend Samuel B H Lovett; Fleet Surgeon Joseph Chambers; Fleet Paymaster Wingfiel W Alton; Surgeon Alfred W Iredell; Sub Lieutenant (Sub Lt) Robert G M D Hunt; Engineer Sub Lt George D Campbell; Engineer Sub Lt Reginald G Hines; Engineer Sub Lt McLeod G A Edwards; Assistant Paymaster Percy D Marks; Gunner (Gnr) Henry Steele; Gnr Frederick S Norman; Gnr Stewart J Cuthbertson; Boatswain George Griffin; Signaller Boatswain William Arberry; Carpenter Harry F Kenshett; Artificer Engineer Edward C Phillips; Artificer Engineer Matthew R Oliver; Artificer Engineer Harold Fishlock; Midshipman Martin J C de Merio; Midshipman Gilbert M Welman; Midshipman John N Tait; Midshipman Herbert N Cooper-Key; Midshipman James W S Dorling; Midshipman John E Harrison Dakin; Midshipman Arthur K Gibson; Midshipman Victor H Danckwerts; Midshipman Gerald P Bowen; Midshipman Eldred S Brooksmith; Midshipman Francis J Ratcliff; Midshipman Hugh P Middleton; Midshipman Cuthbert R L Kenworthy; Midshipman Quintin D Fildes; Midshipman Charles R Peploe; Midshipman Charles S Lockhart; Clerk Lewis A da C Ricci; Clerk Oswald J Wainwright; Clerk Alfred H S Steele-Perkins.
  • Transferred to one other ship before in April going to HMS Good Hope another Drake Class armoured cruiser. The Good Hope underwent a refit in Portsmouth for much of Eldred’s time onboard.
  • 30 Mar. Promoted to a Sub Lieutenant.
    Sub Lt Sleeve insignia

    Transferred to the ship HMS Bellepheron.

    HMS Bellerophon was a dreadnought of the Royal Navy. She was the lead ship of the Bellerophon class, and the fourth Royal Navy vessel to bear the name of the mythic Greek hero. Built at the Royal Dockyard in Portsmouth and completed in 1909, Bellerophon first joined the 1st Battle Squadron
1910- 1912
  • 30 Sept.10, Eldred was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

    Lt Sleeve insignia
  • On 26 May 1911, the Bellerophon was in a collision with the battlecruiser HMS Inflexible. Bellerophon received damage whilst Inflexible took bow damage which put her in the dockyard until November.
  • 29 Jul. Booksmith was appointed in command of the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 2 which had been built in 1906 and previously known as HMS Dragon Fly.
    This is photograph HU 43993 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums.


  • 7 March 1915. Brooksmith served as a gunnery officer in Severn from 7 March 1915. In this capacity, he helped destroy the German cruiser Königsberg in the Rufiji delta with the assistance of aerial spotting.
    HMS SEVERN in bombarding position in Arab House Creek in the Rufiji River Delta, German East Africa, 3 July 1917. Port wings flooded to get extra elevation for its 6-inch guns. Then after the 6-inch gun is being loaded to bombard the railway loop trenches.


  • 29 July 1916 when he was appointed to Vengeance as a gunnery officer. The Vengeance was also in service in East Africa, during which she supported the capture of Dar es Salaam in German East Africa.
    German East African Campaign. Dar-es-Salaam. Indian troops embarking for Kilwa, October 1917. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:


  • 21 March. Transferred briefly to HMS Chester a Crusier that was built-in 1914.
  • 4 May 1917, he was appointed to a new Light Cruiser that had only been launched in March, the HMS Ceres . Eldred’s role was to be the ships gunnery officer.[3]
  • June. HMS Ceres joined the Grand Fleet as part of the 6th Light Cruiser Squadron.
  • 15 July 1917, Eldred was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross To receive the Distinguished Service Cross. Lieutenant Eldred Stuart Brooksmith., R.N. Was in sole command of the defences of the southern part of the defence lines at Bagamoyo, when he showed conspicuous ability; also contributed largely to the successful firing by the monitors. .[4]
    Distinguished Service Cross awarded in WW1
    Newspaper Article covering Eldred’s award

    Bagamoyo south of Zanzibar shown on a German Map (Meyers)
  • HMS Ceres was part of the 6th Light Cruiser Squadron and in 1918 was operating in the Atlantic and Baltic areas the map below shows the movements of the ship in 1918 and in 1919 when it operated in the Meditteranean.
  • 30 September 1918., Brooksmith was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander  [5]
    Lt Commander Sleeve insignia


AFter the War

Promoted to Commander

Commander Sleeve insignia

Eldred continued with his Naval career and died while in service on  3.12.1931 Captain Eldred S Brooksmith from Iron Duke, gunnery training ship due to illness

Death 1931

 3 December 1931 at Garthdee Nursing Home, Dunfermline.

  1. Dreadnought project
  2. Naval
  3. Royal Navy Service Records
  4. Ancestry
  5. Cheltenham College archives

Father Eldred John Barrister, Mathematician and service with Royal Navy Woolwich.
Article from Cheltenham College magazine reflects on the Brooksmith connection with the College.