Sunday, 24 July 2011

Sunday Obituary: Reginald Brown 1889 - 1916

I have written about Reginald Brown before, and I shall make no apology for doing so again!  He was my great-uncle, I never met him, but I am duty-bound never to forget him.  Reginald's life was cut short, depriving him of the opportunity to marry and have his own descendants to remember him, so it falls to me and my cousins to do so for him.

Today is, I imagine, the day on which Reginald's life officially ended, the day on which his Unit realised that he was definitely not just missing, but dead.  There is no exact day, no time, not even a body - just an official estimate of 22-25 July 1916.  He was Private 2336 in the 1st Battalion, Australian Imperial Force and during this time he and his comrades were involved in some of the bloodiest fighting on the Somme, at Pozieres. The war diary mentions "exceptionally heavy shell fire of all calibres" and reports that they could not evacuate some of the wounded for 24 hours due to a lack of stretcher bearers.  Somewhere amongst all the chaos, Reginald fell.  He is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, as is his brother Ernest.  Their brother Sidney lies not too far away at Rouen.

There is a little more about Reginald here.

Lest we forget.

4 comments:

Rosemary said...

My first cousin 1x removed, Reginald Sydney Merrett (1895-1917) fell at Pozieres on 9th April 1917 and died of severe chest wounds. A private in the 12th Battalion, 14th Reinforcements, he is with his comrades in the Pozieres British Cemetery.

Lest we forget.

The Treehouse said...

Hi Rosemary

I can see from your blog that you have researched the Australian National Archives, have you had a look at the Australian War Memorial site for a war diary? Here's the link in case you haven't
http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awm4/

Great blog, by the way - I am now your willing follower!

Rosemary said...

Thanks for the reference. Reg didn't leave anything at all, no diaries, not even a will. His folder is filled with correspondence up through the mid 1930's trying to settle his estate. His father seems to have left him part of a dairy farm in Mepunga, Vic.

The correspondence included letters from his sister who was living in a "de facto" relationship and pointed me towards her and a son we didn't know anything about. The old gentleman is still alive and won't talk to his own family about these matters ... all very shameful.

The Treehouse said...

What a pity! I have traced a couple of family members who are slightly reticent about sharing information (the majority are absolute gems though, and now good friends). I try to keep the lines of communication open and hope that in time they relent...

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