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Philip Anthony Brown (1886-1915)

DLI officer rescued from No Man's Land by his observer Thomas Kenny

On 4 November 1915 Lieutenant Philip Anthony Brown, 13th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, was wounded whilst engaged in observation in front of the trenches at Armentieres, and was rescued under circumstances of great heroism by Private Kenny, his observer, and by Captain White with a party of men. Private (later Sergeant) Kenny was awarded the VC and Captain White the MC.

Lieutenant Brown died of his wounds before he reached the dressing station.

This portrait of Philip Brown was made in 1918, after his death. It was presented to the Durham Light Infantry regimental collection in November 2015 from a private collection, with no family connection, where it hung on the staircase and was much loved for 40 years. It is now in the care of Durham County Record Office.

Research by the Workers’ Educational Association North East early in 2016 has identified the artist as Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of C P Scott (1846-1932), the Manchester Guardian editor. Philip Brown’s book on the French Revolution has a line drawing, signed by C P Scott in 1913, as the frontispiece.

Where to look for more information about this person:

The WEA in World War 1 in the North East – Philip Brown and Thomas Kenny VC

Durham University: First World War Roll of Honour

IWM Collections

LSE’s First World War roll of honour

North East War Memorials Project

Civil Parish: Durham

Birth date: 27-Jan-1886

Death date: 04-Nov-1915

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: Born Beckenham, Kent

Education: Abbey School, Beckenham, and Malvern College
History scholar, New College, Oxford; BA 1908, First Class History 1909

Employment: On leaving Oxford Philip Brown took up literary work, and for some time lectured at the London School of Economics, afterwards becoming lecturer in economics at Durham University, during which time he took a great interest in the education of working men and women and was tutor in the Workers’ Educational Association.

On the staff of Durham University, lecturer, 1912

Author of ‘The Influence of the French Revolution on English History’ (published posthumously).

Family: Parents: Anthony Brown of Broomhill, Southend Road, Beckenham, Kent, and his wife Jane Chalmers, daughter of Charles Playne JP, Gloucestershire

Military service:

Enlisted as Private in Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, Sep-1914
2nd Lieutenant, 13th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, 13-Oct-1914
Temporary/Lieutenant 3-Feb-1915
France and Belgium 25-Aug-1915 to 04-11-1915
Killed in action near Armentieres, France

Medal(s): 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by Durham County Record Office

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