BROWN, Charles [of Southwell]

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By Mike Kirton

Born 1871 - survived the war.

No. 5744 Royal Defence Corps


Charles Brown was born in Mansfield and following a period living in Nottingham and Thurgarton moved to Southwell, where his three sons were educated.  He worked as a house painter, and for 21 years had been in the Volunteers and subsequently the Territorials, reaching the rank of Sergeant before his retirement at around age 40 in 1912, but remained on the reserve list. 

      In early 1915 the War Office sent out a notice to reservists asking if they were prepared to sign on for either active service or home defence.  A report in the Newark Advertiser on 14th April 1915 stated that Dr Willoughby conducted a series of medical examinations at the New Drill Hall and 14 Southwell men, including Charles Brown, had been passed as fit.  They were sworn in by Mr J.R. Starkey and were ready for deployment.  Whilst Charles Brown’s military records are not available, we know that he joined what eventually became the Royal Defence Corps.  A report in the Newark Advertiser on 19th September 1917 (reporting on his son Corporal J.H. Brown) mentions that he was guarding prisoners of war at a detention camp near Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire.  These duties were commensurate with him serving in the Royal Defence Corps and, of course, his age of 46.  However, in April 1919 a further Advertiser report mentions that he was fighting at Archangel.  A far cry from guarding P. O. W.s in Lincolnshire, and unusual for a man of his age – he must have volunteered, although there are no records.  Charles Brown returned home and it is believed died in 1925.

Charles Brown was the father of John Harry Brown and Vincent Brown.

This page was added by Mike Kirton on 21/08/2014.

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