HoC - Roll of Honour - Harold Burgiss Brown

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Harold Burgiss Brown

Harold Burgiss Brown, also known as Harold Burgess Brown, was the fifth and youngest child of John and Mina Burgiss Brown and was born in 1889 in Maidstone, Kent where the family lived at West Bank, Buckland Road. By the 1901 census the family had moved to 355 Romford Road, West Ham. At the outbreak of the First World War, Mina and her youngest daughter, Dorothy, were living at 23 Ellesmere Road, Chiswick.

Harold seems to have enlisted originally in December 1915 but was posted to the Army Reserve. He received a call-up notice the following summer and was medically examined on 11th September 1916, which appears to have been his 27th birthday. He joined the 28th battalion of the London Regiment (Artists’ Rifles) and was posted to the Expeditionary force in France on 4th November.

His service record reveals that on 12th May 1917 he was awarded 7 days of Field Punishment No 2 for “Irregular conduct on sentry go”. He was appointed unpaid Lance Corporal on 18th October but was killed in action twelve days later, on 30th October.

The St Michael’s Parish Magazine of December 1917 records in Beyond the Veil, “We deeply regret to state that…Harold Burgiss Brown has been killed in action in France on October 30th, 1917, and the sincere sympathy of the Parish is offered to Mrs. Burgiss Brown and her daughter. Feeble as human comfort is it must have been of some solace to them to read this splendid epitaph sent to Mrs. Burgiss Brown by his special friend:- ‘No one ever had a better friend and as a soldier he was one of the best, always cheerful under the most trying of circumstances and ever ready to do any work necessary…he died a heroe (sic) in a just cause’ “.