Research by Peter Inns, 2008
Charles William Brown details from the “Burnt Records”
Of 10 South Terrace Rushden, aged 19 years 11 months, shoehand, unmarried.
Enlisted 10th December 1915 at Rushden.
Charles was living with his grandmother Mrs. S. Thompson and she was named as his legatee.
He was 5’ 10¾” tall with 35” chest (expanded) 2” range of expansion.
Next of kin were his two sisters Ada & Rose.
His father had emigrated to Leslie Street, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia.
He served at home from 4th January 1916 until 13th June 1916, and in France from 14th June 1916 until his death on 3rd August 1917. Total service 1 year 237 days.
In France he was attached to 129th Coy. Royal Engineers and was injured in the field on 10th December 1916. He rejoined the Battalion on the 9th of February 1917 but was again injured in the field on 31st July 1917. He died on 3rd August 1917 and was buried at Mendinghem Military Cemetery.
Rushden Echo, 31st August 1917
Pte C W Brown Succumbs to Wounds - ‘The Bravest Man I Ever Knew over Wounds’
Pte C W Brown, 22866 Northants Regiment, who before enlisting, worked in the lasting room at Messrs John Cave and Sons’ boot factory at Rushden, died of wounds on August 2nd. Deceased, who was 21 years of age, joined the Forces in February 1916, and went to France on June 10th the same year.
The late Pte Brown was the grandson of Mrs J Thompson, of 10, South-terrace, Rushden, with whom he had lived since the time when his father, six years ago, left Rushden for Australia. Pte Brown’s father, who was a native of Rushden, used to work at the C.W.S. boot factory at Rushden.
Mrs Thompson has received the following letter from the Matron of No. 12 Casualty Clearing Station B.E.F.:- “It is with deep regret I write to tell you of the death of your grandson Pte C W Brown Northants Regt. He came to us yesterday, and passed quietly away this morning (August 2nd) at eight o’clock. He was very badly wounded, poor lad, in several places, and he asked me to write to his grandmother, sending his love to her and to his brothers and sisters. He did not say much after that, as we were anxious to keep him quiet, hoping to pull him through. He was so brave and cheerful, and so grateful for the little we can do when we have such numbers of badly wounded men and boys passing through our small hospital. It will be a pleasure to you to know that his thoughts were with you all, and that he was anxious you should have a line about him. May God comfort you in your lass as He only can,
Writing from Belgium, E C Passmore, B Company, says:- “Dear Mrs Thompson It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you of the death from wounds of 22866 Pte C W Brown. He was badly wounded by a shell in the afternoon on July 31st, while holding a post which we had taken in the morning. The stretcher bearers got him back to the dressing station, where he was properly bandaged and sent to hospital - he died there on August 1st. Pte Brown was one of our best men, and is greatly missed in his platoon, where he was a general favourite. Although he was so badly hit and conscious, he did not utter a word of complaint, and his platoon officer said he was the bravest man he had ever seen over his wounds. I am writing to you as that was the address left by him; he did not mention whether you are a relative or not. His death means a great loss to the platoon, and I hope you will accept my deepest sympathy”.