Private Lionel BROWN


Regiment/Service:
Royal Warwickshire Regiment
(Formerly: Somerset Light Infantry)
Unit:
9th Battalion
Service Number:
18407
(Formerly: 23629 Somerset Light Infantry)
Date of Death:
11 November 1918 - Died (Mesopotamia) - Armistice Day
Age:
33
Cemetery / Memorial:
Cemetery Reference:
III. E. 15

Personal History:
Lionel was born in the December quarter 1886, the son of Charles William Day (Painter on Railway) and Sarah Brown. He had an older brother, Walter, an older sister, Blanche, and a younger sister, Alice (Ethel). In 1891 they were living at 17 (Vincent Cottage) Christchurch Road, Ringwood, Hampshire (Census RG 12/908). 
Ten years later (1901 Census RG 13/1046) another sister, Florence, had been added to the family. Lionel was the husband of Annie Elizabeth Brown, of Buxton, who died before the CWGC records were compiled. However, no record has been found of any of the family in the 1911 Census.

Military History:
Lionel enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry at St Alban's, Herts. His Medal Index Card shows that he entered the War in France after 1915, as he was not eligible for the 1914/15 Star Medal. His Service papers have not survived and without them it is not possible to say what his War service postings were, nor when he transferred to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. His Service Number in the Somerset Light Infantry would suggest he enlisted early in 1916.

The 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, had originally been formed at Warwick in August 1914 as part of K1 (Kitchener's First New Army) and came under command of 39th Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. The Battalion moved to Gallipoli in July 1915 and on to Egypt in January 1916 and from there to Mesopotamia in February 1916. In July 1918, the 39th Brigade detached and was sent as part of North Persia Force. In October 1918 they were in Transcaspia.

As the CWGC reference to Lionel states: "Died" (i.e. as opposed to 'Died of wounds' etc.) it is probably safe to assume that whilst stationed in the area he succumbed to one of the many illnesses or diseases rife at that time. The Tehran War Cemetery, where he is buried, was not built until 1962 and brought together burials from nine earlier burial grounds - again without his Service Records it is impossible to be more specific as to where he died or from what cause.

Lionel did, however, pass away on the very day The Great War ended - Armistice Day - 11th November 1918.

Sources:
· I am grateful to The British War Graves for the photo of Lionel's grave

Link to CWGC Record
Pt Lionel Brown's grave
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