Private Frank BROWN (201572)
‘B’ Coy. 2nd/4th Bn., Border Regiment.
Born: 30 July 1896, Glenridding, Westmorland
Died: 30 October 1918, Peshawar, India (Age 22)
Born on the 30th July 1896, probably at Middle Rake in Glenridding, Frank Dewis Brown was the eldest son of David Brown, a Lead Miner, and his wife Mary Jane (nee Dewis). Frank attended Patterdale School and was a member of the Patterdale Church choir. After leaving school, he initially worked, at the age of 14 years, as a Lead Ore Washer at the Greenside Mine but later worked as a Farm Labourer at Edenhall, near Penrith. Probably in answer to Lord Kitchener’s fifth ‘Call to Arms’, a 19 year old Frank, went into Penrith on the 11th February 1915 and signed up to join the 2nd/4th Border Regiment1. Within a week he was told to report to the battalion’s depot in Kendal for his uniform and then to join his unit, who were billeted at South Shore, Blackpool. The seashore and adjoining countryside provided an excellent training ground and the Grand Hotel was used as the Battalion HQ. His time in Blackpool (and therefore any basic training) was brief.
On the 4th of March 1915, the battalion, of 28 officers and 767 other ranks, left Avonmouth docks on board HM Troopship ‘Dongola’ bound for Bombay, India. Unfortunately, running at night without lights because of German submarines, the ship collided with a steamer in the Bristol Channel just off Barry and everyone had to be quickly landed ashore at Barry. A replacement ship, HM Troopship ‘Tunisian’ was quickly found and departed from Barry on the 7th March, passing through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal before reaching Bombay on the morning of the 31st March. Their final destination was the Ghorpuri Barracks, in Poona. Whilst serving in India, Frank would have served in Shankargarh, Nowshera, Peshawar and Sadar Garhi (for service on the Mohmand Blockade Line).
This photograph is of Platoon No.6 of ‘B’ Company 2nd/4th Border Regiment whilst in India. Could that be Frank in the middle holding the Insignia?
He is known to have suffered a short bout of Malaria in October 1916 and a more prolonged bout in September 1918 whilst in Nowshera. Upon returning to Peshawar, presumably still in a weakened state, he contracted influenza and was admitted to the hospital there on the 21st October but sadly his condition worsened and he died at 3:30pm on Wednesday the 30th October 1918 aged just 22 years. Frank Brown is buried at Peshawar (Right B.C. XLV. 23)
Frank had served in India for three and a half years and his medal card2 shows that he was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.
He is remembered and commemorated on:
The Patterdale War Memorial
Glenridding Public Hall – Roll of Honour
Kendal Parish Church, Border Regiment Chapel and Roll of Honour
The Delhi Memorial (India Gate)3, India (Face 1).
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Memorial Certificate
What became of Frank's family?
This wonderful family photograph, probably taken after the christening of baby John on the 2nd of April 1905, was sent to us by Alison McCosh, grand-daughter of Alice Brown. It shows Frank (at the front kneeling) along with his siblings, parents, grand-mother (Margaret Dewis) and other relatives.
His father David Brown was born in Glenridding around the middle of 1870 and baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 21st August 1870. He was working as a Joiner (probably with his father) when, at the age of 22, he married Mary Jane Dewis at St Patrick's Church on the 15th February 1893. Mary Jane was born in Patterdale around the middle of 1871 and baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 8th October 1871. They had eight children. David Brown died at High Rake in Glenridding on the 20th August 1917 aged only 47, and Mary Jane on the 16th Oct 1934 aged 63. They are buried together in St Patrick's churchyard.
His older sister Wilhelmina Brown (Mena) was born in Patterdale 1st May 1893 and baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 29th May 1893.
His older sister Alvinza Brown was born in Patterdale 13th April 1894 and baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 13th May 1894. She did not marry and continued to live at 2 High Rake, Glenridding until she died in Dec 1948 aged 54.
His older Sister Alice Brown was born on the 14th July 1895 and baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 18th August 1895. Alice married John Lancelot Mounsey, a 30 year old engineer from Liverpool, on the 30th April 1921.
His younger sister Nora Brown was born in Glenridding around October 1899 and baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 10th December 1899. She died in December 1903 aged 4 years and is buried in St Patrick's churchyard.
His younger brother John Pattinson Brown was born in Glenridding in early 1905 and was baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 2nd April 1905. He married Mary Green Harris on the 1st October 1932 in Flimby, Cumberland. They were living at Stybarrow Terrace in Glenridding, when Mary died at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, aged 60 years, and when John died on the 22nd August 1980, aged 75 years. They are buried next to each other in St Patrick's churchyard.
His younger brother James William Brown was born in Glenridding on the 2nd February 1907 and was baptised privately (probably at home) on the 4th February 1907. He died in July 1907 aged 5 months. He is buried in St Patrick's churchyard.
His younger sister Margaret Ann Brown was born in Glenridding around the middle of 1911 and was baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 31st October 1911. Margaret married John Hamilton, a 21 year old Labourer from Glenridding, on the 9th July 1929.
1. The second formation of the 4th (Cumberland and Westmorland) Infantry Battalion of the Border Regiment was formed in Kendal on the 24th of October 1914, under the command of Lt.Col. J. F. Haswell.
2. Medal Card for Private Frank Brown (201572) Border Regiment.
The Victory Medal
To qualify for the Victory medal one had to be mobilised in any service and have entered a theatre of war between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918).
The British War Medal
To qualify for the British War Medal a member of the fighting forces had to leave his native shore in any part of the British Empire while on service. It did not matter whether he/she entered a theatre of war or not.
3. The Delhi Memorial (India Gate), India
The Delhi Memorial (India Gate), which stands at the eastern end of the Raj path, or Kingsway, is a stone arch 40 metres high with a span of 15 metres. The Memorial honours all the 70,000 soldiers of undivided India who fell in Defence of the British Empire during the years 1914-1921, the majority of whom are commemorated outside the confines of India. It also commemorates those who served with the forces of the United Kingdom and Australia. Of the 13,300 commemorated by name on the memorial just over 1,000 lie in cemeteries to the west of the River Indus, where maintenance was not possible. The remainder died in fighting on or beyond the North West Frontier and during the Third Afghan War and have no known grave. More Details
Service Record: 17 Pages
Page Editor: Norman Jackson
Page Last Reviewed: 03 Mar 2021