The Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Private H Brown


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Private Henry BROWN, G/4891, 1st Battalion, Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment, killed in action, France and Flanders, death presumed on or after, 4th October 1917, age 38.

Born Crowborough, Sussex, son of Louisa E Clapson, (formerly Brown), 41 Bedford Road, Southborough, Kent. Brother of Private George James Brown.

26th December 1906, Parish Church, Brixton, married Louisa Elizabeth Brigden, spinster, of Dunk's Green, Tonbridge, Kent, married  

Children - Henry Brown, born 4th August 1906, Dunks Green, Nr Tonbridge, Kent; John William Brown, born 24th March 1908, Dunks Green, Nr Tonbridge, Kent; Edith Maud Brown, born 25th April 1912, Dunks Green, Nr Tonbridge, Kent; Walter Thomas French Brown, born 23rd March 1915, Malling, Kent.

Enlisted, Tonbridge Kent, age 35 years 140 days, height 5ft 4½ inches, resided Dunks Green, Nr Tonbridge, Kent. Formerly labourer.

Home, 10th December 1914 to 23rd March 1915; BEF, 24th March 1915 to 18th April 1915; Home, 19th April 1915 to 7th March 1916; BEF, 8th March 1916 to 4th October 1917.

10th December 1914, enlisted & posted Depot, Royal West Kent Regiment; 15th December 1914, posted 3rd Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment; 24th March 1915, posted 1st Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment & BEF; 15th April 1915, wounded, gun shot wound, left leg, transferred to England; 31st July 1915, posted 3rd Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment; 8th March 1916, posted 1st Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment & BEF; 9th March 1916, at 5 Infantry Base Depot, Etaples; 23rd March 1916, joined Battalion, "A" Company; 22nd July 1916, wounded, gun shot wound neck; 27th July 1916 at Infantry Base Depot, Etaples; 15th August 1916, rejoined Battalion, "A" Company; 24th August 1917 to 3rd September 1917, leave to UK; 4th October 1917, posted missing.

4th June 1918, pension awarded to widow and four children, of 33/9d a week.

13th April 1920, Statement of Relatives - Widow, Louisa Elizabeth Brown, Dunk's Green, Tonbridge, Kent; Children - Henry Brown, born 4th August 1906, Dunks Green, Nr Tonbridge, Kent; John William Brown, born 24th March 1908, Dunks Green, Nr Tonbridge, Kent; Edith Maud Brown, born 25th April 1912, Dunks Green, Nr Tonbridge, Kent; Walter Thomas French Brown, born 23rd March 1915, Malling, Kent; Mother, Louisa E Clapson, 41 Bedford Road, Southborough; Brother - Leonard Brown.

Commemorated at Tyne Cot Memorial, Panel 106 to 108, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium & Plaxtol, Kent War Memorial.


NOTE : The photographs and the following information provided by Brett Jeffery, who is the great grandson of Private Henry Brown.

       


February 1916, Brown family, Dunks Green, Kent.

               Henry Brown (36)

Louisa Elizabeth Brown (nee Brigden)(35)                             Emily Gertrude Brigden (19)

Walter Thomas French Brown (Walt)(10 mths)        Edith Maud Brown (3)  

                        Henry ‘Harry’ Brown Brigden (9) John ‘Jack’ William Brown (7)

This photograph taken just prior to Henry Brown’s return to France following recuperation in Kent from a gunshot wound to the leg received in France in 1915. The four younger children were Henry’s, but Emily was born in 1897 to an unknown father before Louisa and Henry met.  Harry was always known as a ‘Brown’, but was actually christened ‘Henry Brown Brigden’ as he was born in August 1906, four months before Henry Brown and Louisa Brigden married on Boxing Day, 1906. This is the last known photo of Henry, who was killed in action on the Somme on 4/10/1917. He is commemorated on the Plaxtol War Memorial, and at the Tyne Cot war memorial in Belgium.


His record states that he was 35 on enlistment but he was actually 31, and I think he deliberately lied about this as he also misstated his age on his marriage certificate and some census records, although he actually used his correct birthdate (he was born on 23/7/1883).

Re. his children, his daughter (my grandmother) was Edith Maud Brown, not Elizabeth, although I can see that ‘Elizabeth’ has been entered incorrectly on the ‘Descriptive Report on enlistment’, probably a mistake by the enrolling officer.. However, her name was indeed Edith, which appears on his army record later in 1920 when his widow Louisa completed the next of kin details to obtain his memorial plaque and scroll.

Their youngest child was Walter Thomas French Brown (not Frank); you can see this if you look closely at the handwriting on his enlistment report; the reason my father gave me for his uncle’s name was that he was born on 23/3/1915, and his father Henry left to return to the BEF and the war in France the next day, 24/3/1915.

His army record says that he had one brother, but that’s not quite accurate. This comes from later in 1920 when his widow Louisa completed the next of kin details to obtain his memorial plaque and scroll; his one surviving brother at that time was Leonard. Upon enlistment he had two brothers, Leonard, and George (they both have the same mother. Clapson was her second marriage). George was dead by 1920, hence only one brother listed by his widow Louisa in 1920. When he enlisted in 1914 he had two brothers.

Besides Tyne Cot, Henry is also on the Plaxtol War Memorial in Kent, 2 miles from his family home in Dunks Green.


This page was last updated on 15-May-2017.

Copyright © 2008 Janet & Richard Mason