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Joseph Gardiner Brown (1887-1917)

Stanhope born man whose family was associated with Hudson Masonic Lodge, Wolsingham

Joseph Gardiner Brown was born in Stanhope. His birth was registered between July and September 1886. His father was William Brown, a limestone quarryman from Stanhope. His mother was Elizabeth Brown nee Elliott, also originally from Stanhope. He had one older brother, John William Brown.

At the time of the 1891 census, the family were living at Shield Close in Stanhope. The family were still living at Shield Close at the time of the 1901 census. Joseph was working as a general labourer. By the time of the 1911 census Joseph’s father William had died and his mother was head of the household. The family had moved to Swinhope Burn in Westgate. Joseph was working as a horse keeper at a limestone quarry.

At the time of Joseph’s enlistment into the army he was living at West End, Wolsingham. His trade is listed as a quarryman. He was passed medically fit for service on 16 March 1916 and joined the 2/8th Durham Light Infantry (DLI) with the service number 4421 to serve as a private. He embarked at Folkestone on 13 August 1916 and arrived at Bologne the same day. He was transferred to the 20th Battalion DLI and joined the battalion in the field on 25 August 1916. He was given the new service number 45810. Joseph served as part of the 20th battalion until he was killed in action on 31 July 1917.

Joseph’s name appears on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres. He is remembered locally on two memorials in Wolsingham, in addition to the DLI book of remembrance in Durham Cathedral. He is also remembered in a booklet compiled from the names on the Wolsingham cenotaph by Morris Ward. Joseph was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his service.

Joseph’s family were associated with the Freemasons based at Hudson Lodge in Wolsingham. A photo of Joseph is included in a collection displayed at the Masonic Lodge in Wolsingham.

Civil Parish: Wolsingham

Birth date: 1886

Death date: 31-Jul-1917

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: Shield Close, Stanhope (1891 and 1901 census)
Swinhope Burn, Westgate, Weardale (1911 census)
West End, Wolsingham (Service records)

Religion: Church of England

Employment: Horse Keeper, Limestone Quarry (1911 census)
Quarryman (Service records)

Family: Parents: William Brown, Elizabeth Brown nee Elliott
Siblings: John William Brown

Military service:

Durham Light Infantry 2/8th Battalion
Service number 4421
Transferred to 20th Battalion DLI 25 August 1916
Service number 45810

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Cross 1914-1918 1939-1945 Market Place, Wolsingham
Plaque 1914-1918, 1939-1945 St Mary and St Stephen’s church, Wolsingham
DLI Book of Remembrance, Durham Cathedral

Gender: Male

Contributed by Liv - Durham University Intern | Fiona Johnson

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