Four Mersea Brown Brothers in WW1

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1 Four Mersea Brown Brothers in WW Emily (29) Charles (29) Charles (3) George (7) Elsie (5) Ethel (2) Charles and Emily BROWN - Tollesbury (1897) Charles BROWN and Emily OLIVER (and several previous generations of mariner BROWNs) came from Brightlingsea and married on 20 th August 1890 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Brightlingsea. In the following year George Frederick was born on 6 th Jan Originally a mariner, Charles joined the police force on 1 st April 1892 and was assigned to the Witham Division at Coggeshall Station. Elsie Maud was born here soon after on 30 th Sept. Charles was then assigned to Tollesbury Station on 11 th April 1894 and his son Charles Frederick was born here soon after on 24 th May. While living at Tollesbury four more children were born: Ethel May (7 th Dec 1895), Hartley Oliver (24 th Jan 1898), Albert Victor (15 th March 1901) and Nellie Winifred (21 st Jan 1903). Charles was then assigned to West Mersea on 29 th Sept 1903 as part of the specially appointed police for the River Blackwater and the whole family (wife and seven children) moved to Firs Chase. In 1914 Charles bought the pair of semi-detached cottages (6 and 8 Firs Chase) at auction for 200. At that time he had been renting one of the two cottages for 10 10/- p.a. 1/6

2 George Frederick BROWN ( ) Unfortunately we cannot find George s service record, but know that he was with AOC (Army Ordnance Corp) in France. Charles Frederick BROWN ( ) Charles BROWN enlisted voluntarily into Kitchener s 2nd New Army and served originally with the 10 th (Service) Battalion Essex Regiment, going to France with this unit on 25 th July He was injured on the first day of the Somme battle on 1 st July Following hospitalisation and convalescence probably with the 3rd Battalion at Felixstowe, he was drafted to the 13th (Service) Battalion (West Ham). On 28 th April 1917, during fighting at Oppy in France he went missing; he had been captured and became a PoW at Limburg, Germany. As reported by the Essex Chronicle at the time, he was able to write to his parents to let them know that he was well, and a prisoner at Limburg June 9 th Essex Newsman: 1917 July 13 th Essex Chronicle: 2/6

3 Hartley Oliver BROWN ( ) Hartley Brown joined the Navy and served on HMS Gazelle. Before the war HMS Gazelle was a Channel Islands mail and passenger steamer. She was requisitioned in 1914 and served as a British auxiliary minesweeper operating in the Mediterranean for most of the war. Albert Victor BROWN ( ) Victor Brown also joined the Navy and served on HMS Sobo which was used as a torpedo depot ship supplying submarines at Scapa Flow in Scotland. Victor s service record shows his correct day of birth but the year of birth is 1899, not We know he was serving in 1917, when he was just 16 years old. HMS Gazelle As part of the Armistice agreement, Germany had to surrender most of its fleet. A total of 74 ships arrived in Scapa Flow for internment. On 21 st June 1919, under the mistaken belief that peace talks had failed, Ludwig von Reuter gave the command to scuttle the entire fleet in the Flow and 52 ships went to the seafloor; this remains the greatest loss of shipping ever recorded in a single day. HMS Sobo 3/6

4 Post War... Charles and Emily BROWN ( ) Charles and Emily remained at Fir Chase, with Charles retiring Feb 1 st 1919, having been promoted to Police Sergeant. The second cottage (number 2) was later bought by George, and then by Hartley. Hartley s daughters Eileen and Dorothy Brown then lived at the same place. Eileen Brown worked at Digby s General Store for many years. Charles and Emily both died in 1953 age 85; Emily died Feb 23 rd and Charles died Nov 27 th, having been married for over 62 years. George Frederick BROWN ( ) Just before the war George married Margaret Ida BUCKLE ( Daisy ) in George was then a Boot Maker and had premises next to the West Mersea British Legion. They had a daughter Margaret E BROWN born 15 th Feb Sadly Daisy died Feb14 th 1931 age 42. At this time George was a driver for his brother Victor s bus company. Daisy BUCKLE He bought the second cottage in Firs Chase and was living there with Hartley in At age 49 he married Florence Ada LEE on 14 th Sept George became an Ordnance Storekeeper and died 17 th May 1957 age 66 at Colchester. His grandson is Brian JAY who still lives at West Mersea and has close links with the Mersea Museum; he has written a number of books about Mersea Island. 4/6

5 Charles Frederick BROWN ( ) After the war Charles was a chauffeur at Layer Marney. He eventually married Laura Mabel GAYLER on March 11 th 1929 and were living at Homecroft, St Peter s Road, West Mersea. Soon after they moved to Heath House, Station Road, Tiptree where their son Peter George BROWN was born on 28 th Dec 1929 and their daughter Patricia Jean BROWN was born on 11 th May. In 1932 they moved to Ash Dean, Station Road, Tiptree where Kathleen Mary BROWN was born on 21 st Nov In 1937 they moved to Fairfax Drive, Westcliff on Sea, where Charles was a General Store Dealer. In 1941 they moved to Ashcroft, Maldon Road, Bicknacre and by 1955 Charles had become a Factory Inspector. Charles died on 1 st Jan 1973 age 78. Hartley Oliver BROWN ( ) The WW1 photo of Hartley dated 1917 was a postcard from Hartley to Hilda STOKER; they married in After the war Hartley stayed in the navy and served on the steamship Tuscarora. Their daughters: Eileen, born 18 th Jan 1928 and Dorothy born 14 th August 1932 both lived at Firs Chase. Eileen BROWN worked for many years at Digbys General Store. Hartley died in 1971 age 73. 5/6

6 Albert Victor BROWN ( ) After the war Victor married Violet Elsie COTTEE on 21 st Dec 1926 and their son Derek BROWN was born on 7 th Nov Victor was in business as a garage proprietor at Tiptree. In the middle 1920s he moved into operating buses and coaches and by 1930 he had put together a network of services around Essex. His fleet consisted of Chevrolet, Bedford, REO and Gilford saloons and he established the Bluebird bus service from Station Road Tiptree. Victor died on 29 th April 1976 age 75. Bluebird Buses at Tiptree (Victor BROWN on left) Andy Brown (Charles BROWN s grandson) 26/10/2018 6/6

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