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William Henry “Harry” Brown (1895-1916)

Farm worker remembered on the Staindrop memorial

William Henry Brown, known as Harry, was born in 1895 in Staindrop. His parents, Edmund and Elizabeth Brown, had married in 1874 and had a total of nine children, one of whom did not survive childhood. William grew up in Staindrop and by the time of the 1911 census, at the age of 15, was working as a general labourer.

All further records of William refer to him as Harry, including his military service records. He attested into the 18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI) on 1 February 1915 at Cocken Hall in Fencehouses, at which time he was working on a farm. Whilst training at Richmond Camp Harry received a punishment of three days confinement to barracks after he overstayed his pass. Following training he arrived in France on 6 April 1916, joining his unit in the field a few days later to serve as a private with the service number 18/1347.

Harry was reported as missing only two months later in July 1916. His service records report he was later regarded to have died on or after 1 July 1916. Harry is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and several memorials in his home village of Staindrop.

Harry is mentioned in the Staindrop Parish Magazine of September 1916: “Harry, son of Edmund Brown is reported missing. The uncertainty of this makes it a heavy burden for his relations & friends; we hope & pray that a happy solution may be forthcoming, & that he may be reported as alive, even as a prisoner.”

Civil Parish: Staindrop

Birth date: 1895

Death date: 01-Jul-1916

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: Staindrop (1901 Census)
West End, Staindrop (1911 Census, Service Records)

Religion: Wesleyan

Employment: General Labourer (1911 Census)
Farm Worker (Service Records)

Family: Parents: Edmund Brown, Elizabeth Brown nee Sayer
Siblings: John William Brown, Lilly Brown, Albert Brown, Frederick Brown, Arthur Edmund Brown, George Alfred Brown, Margaret Elizabeth Brown

Military service:

18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry
Service Number 18/1347

Medal(s): Victory Medal
British War Medal

Memorial(s): Thiepval Memorial
Plaque 1914-18 St Mary’s Church, Staindrop
Book of Remembrance 1914-18 St Mary’s Church, Staindrop

Gender: Male

Contributed by StaindropWW1, Staindrop