BROOKES, Alfred, P/KX 102599 Stoker 2nd Cl.
H.M.S. Express, Royal Navy.
Born at Darlaston in 1917, he was the son of Alfred and Sarah A. Brookes.
Alfred married Emma Winifred Smith at Wednesbury shortly after the outbreak of the war in 1939.
He was killed in action on the 1st September 1940, aged 22.
He has no known grave but the sea and is remembered on Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
H.M.S. Express was an E Class destroyer, launched in 1934. In June 1940, H.M.S. Express, along with H.M.S. Shikari, were the last two ships to leave Dunkirk on June 4th. During the course of the evacuation, H.M.S. Express had carried some 2,500 troops to safety despite being damaged by bombing.
On the 31st August 1940, H.M.S. Express left Immingham along with other vessels to lay an offensive minefield off the Dutch Coast. During the course of this operation, Express hit a German mine which removed the bow of the ship as far back as the bridge. The detonation of the mine and its aftermath resulted in the death of four Officers and 55 Ratings. The vessel was towed back to England but the same operation saw the loss of the Destroyers H.M.S. Esk and H.M.S. Ivanhoe. This incident became known as the Texel disaster. H.M.S. Express was repaired and continued in service until 1943 when transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy. She was eventually scrapped in 1955.