|Photo of window
in St Laurence
Herbert James Brown
War Memorial: Place and
Commemorated on the Christ Church
Lee memorial in the London Borough of Lewisham. The memorial today is at the Local History
and Archives Centre, Lewisham.
Window erected by family members inside St Laurence, Blackmore: Lt. H.J.
Welsh Fusiliers 1st / 7th Battalion [CWGC]
cards: enrolled as Pte in 28th London Regt no. 3755, then Lt
RWF. K in A.
43 page 7d; IV X/3064 df 5-5-n NW/5/1920. Theatre first served in MEF 2/1/1916. [Ancestry]
Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour:
JAMES Lieut. 7th (Territorial) Batt., the Royal Welsh Fusiliers
elder son of Ernest James Brown of 49 Lee Terrace Blackheath SE, builder, by
his wife Hattie dau. of DA Messent: b. Lewisham co Kent 14 Jan
educ. Highbury House, St Leonards on Sea: was a brick manufacturer. Joined the Old Boys Corps in September
1914, and the Artists Rifles in 1915; was gazetted 2nd lieut. in
the Royal Fusiliers the following July; served with the Egyptian
Expeditionary Force in Egypt and Palestine from December 1915 and was killed
in action at Kulweilfeh 5 Nov 1917.
Buried on the battlefield, Palestine.
His Commanding Officer wrote "we all miss him very much and field
has lost very greatly; we mourn a great friend". He was m. at Blackmore county Essex 15 Jul 1911, Grace Eveline dau. of Roland Pratt, and had a dau. Peggy
Eveline b. 21 Feb 1915.
October 1917, General Allenby's force had been entrenched in front of a
strong Turkish position along the Gaza-Beersheba road for some months, but
they were now ready to launch an attack with Beersheba as its first objective. On 31
October, the attack was carried out by the XXth Corps (10th, 53rd, 60th and
74th Divisions) on the west, and the Desert Mounted Corps on the east. That
evening the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade charged over the Turkish
trenches into the town. The cemetery was made immediately on the fall of the
town, remaining in use until July 1918, by which time 139 burials had been
made It was greatly increased after the Armistice when burials were brought
in from a number of scattered sites and small burial grounds. The cemetery
now contains 1,241 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 67 of them
unidentified. [WO339 and WO374 at the National Archives]
battalion, the 1/7th, was part of the 53rd [Welsh]
Regimental Records of the Royal
Welch Fusiliers, Vol IV by Cary and McCance. This volume is concerned with
operations on Gallipoli, in Mesopotamia, Palestine, Macedonia (Salonika) and Italy. There are a number of appendices
which include: the Roll of Honour for the whole Regiment, taken from Soldiers
Died and Officers Died; and a comprehensive index. All in all these four
volumes make up a very fine regimental history.
Records of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, by ADL Cary, S McCance and CH Dudley Ward, four volumes,
1689-1918, reprinted Naval & Military Press 2007 Hardback]
Personal and family information:
of Grace E. Petrie (formerly Brown), of St. Barnabas Vicarage, Sunderland. Native of Essex. [CWGC]
Herbert James Brown was
born in Lee in 1884 and married Grace Evelyn Pratt on 15th July 1911 at Blackmore.
Herbert Brown, then aged 27, was an Engineer from Blackheath. His father was Ernest James Brown, a brick
manufacturer. Grace Pratt, aged 30,
was a Blackmore resident. They had one
child Peggy, born 1915.
In the 1911 census we
find Grace Evelyn Pratt living at Hay Green Farm, Blackmore. Her father, Rowland Richard Pratt,
describes his profession as ‘Gentleman’ [ERO D/P 266/1/12]. In 1911, the Pratt family comprised:
Rowland Richard Pratt.
Head. Married. [Age] 62. [Occupation:] Independant [Independent]. [Born:]
Narestork [Navestock], Essex
Pratt. Wife. Married 34 years. [Age] 55. [Occupation:]
At home. [Born:] Lakely [Takely], Essex
Rowland Clifford Pratt.
Son. Single. [Age] 21. Working at home on farm. [Born:] Doddinghurst, Essex
Grace Evelyn Pratt.
Daughter. Single. [Age] 29. Working at home on farm. [Born:] Narestork
Rowland Pratt was a
Churchwarden at the Parish Church in Blackmore in 1907 [HALS DSA 1/15/10 f502]. He was buried at
Blackmore, 8 May 1913, aged 64. [Burial Register in Church Safe]
Herbert’s death in 1917, Grace married Stanley Layton Petrie, the son of
Walter Layton Petrie.
Date of Death:
6th November 1917
action, Kulweilfeh, Palestine
Place of Burial or Commemoration:
Beersheba War Cemetery. [CWGC]
List of Sources:
Church Safe, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, Essex Record
Office, Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, National Archives,
Regimental Records of the Royal Welch Fusiliers.