Lieutenant William Leonard BROWN


Regiment/Service:
Sherwood Foresters
(Notts and Derby Regiment)
Unit:
6th Battalion
Service Number:
n/a
Date of Death:
25 September 1915 - Killed in Action 
Age:
23
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Number:
10


Personal History:

William (known as 'Leonard') was born on 29th September 1891, eldest the son of Major Abraham Brown (Solicitor) and Lucie (née Lowe) Brown, later of 20 Hardwick Street, Buxton, Derbyshire.
In 1901 the family were living at Lightwood House, Lightwood Road, Buxton. (Census RG 13/3270) and William had two older sisters, Constance and Elsie Mary, and an younger brother Cecil Arthur. [See Footnote below]

In 1911 the family were at the same address (1911 Census RG 14/21236), along with two domestic servants. William was educated at Holmleigh (Buxton) and Shrewsbury Schools. In 1911 he was employed as a "Solicitor's Articled Clerk",  in his father's firm. In November 1914 he passed his final exams and became a Solicitor in February 1915 in his father's firm.

Military History:
William enlisted in October 1914 and was gazetted a 2nd Lieutenant in the Sherwood Foresters on 27th March 1915. (London Gazette 26th March 1915) His Medal Index Card confirms that he entered France with his Battalion on 16th July 1915 where he acted as Brigade Intelligence Officer. He was to survive barely two months, however, being killed in action on 25th September.

The 'Buxton Advertiser' reported William's death and published a photo on 2nd October 1915, also publishing a letter from Lt. Col Goodman, as follows:

"I hardly know how to tell you that Leonard was killed in action today. He was with the 7th Battalion (Robin Hoods) in performance of his duties as Brigade Intelligence Officer. I have just had a wire to say that he was killed while in one of the second line trenches - probably, but I do not know, by a German sniper.

I was asked some little time ago to nominate an Intelligence Officer for the Brigade, and I named Leonard, as I was struck with the intelligence and keeness with which he carried out his work."

William was the only one of his Battalion killed on the 25th September, and now lies in Reningelst Churchyard Extension. The churchyard and the extension were used from March to November 1915, before the New Military Cemetery was opened.

Footnote:
· Cecil's younger brother Lt Cecil Arthur Brown was Killed in Action on 23 April 1917


Sources:
· De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, Volume 3, page 39
· I am grateful to F. Sohier for the photo of Wiliam's Grave
· I am also grateful to Richard [Derbyshire War Memorials]
   for the photo from St John's Church, Buxton
· Buxton Advertiser - 2 October 1915





Link to CWGC Record
Lt. W L Brown's Grave
The Memorial to the Brown brothers in St John's Church, Buxton
2/Lt Brown's photo in The Buxton Advertiser
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