Army Service Corps A/362992; Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 42324
Army Service Corps and Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
2nd Battalion (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers)
Place of birth:
Islington - Middlesex
Order assistant at Home & Colonial Stores
Date of death:
22/06/1918 Prisoner of War
Cause of death:
Grave or panel reference:
Name of father:
(W) James Brown
Name of siblings:
Gertrude, Minnie, Violet, Elsie, Amy
Name(s) of children:
Date of birth:
Place of enlistment:
France and Belgium
Age at death:
Cemetery or memorial:
Sarralbe Military Cemetery, France
St Mellitus Church
Name of mother:
Lydia Ann Brown (née Johns)
Name of spouse:
139 Thorpedale Road, Finsbury Park
Daniel William James Brown was born on 16 June 1893 in Islington, the only son of William James and Lydia Annie Brown (née Johns). Daniel had five sisters – Gertrude, Minnie, Violet, Elsie and Amy – and was baptised at All Saints Church, Tufnell Park, in July 1893. His father’s occupation is listed variously as bricklayer, decorator and house painter, and the family lived at 139 Thorpedale Road, Stroud Green.
By the 1911 Census, Lydia had been widowed and her father Daniel, also widowed, had moved in. All six children lived at home, with the eldest two, Gertrude and Minnie, working as dressmaker’s assistants. Daniel, the third child, had a job as an order assistant at Home and Colonial Stores in Upper Street, Islington, an early branch of what became one of the UK’s first large retail chains.
Few details exist of Daniel’s war record, especially when it comes to dates. A single record on the ancestry.co.uk website confirms he served in the Army Service Corps, and the Forces War Records and Commonwealth War Graves Commission websites inform us that he later enlisted with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, served on the Western Front and died on 22 June 1918.
The last-named site adds that he is buried or commemorated at Sarralbe Military Cemetery in north-east France and goes on to explain that, although the cemetery was built by the Germans, it was used for Commonwealth prisoners of war. This tallies with a tiny footnote in the New Court Congregational Church manual of 1919, which says Daniel died ‘whilst a prisoner of war in Germany’, and records on the International Committee of the Red Cross website add more detail.
Daniel appears in documentation from Stendal prisoner of war camp, in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, confirming that he died from pleurisy ‘in a battlefield hospital’. However, Stendal is almost 600km from Sarralbe, the site of that hospital, and another note on the records says ‘the prisoner remained in the Western theatre’. Prisoners were often sent back to the front line to perform labour, even though this contravened wartime regulations, and it is almost certain that this was Daniel’s fate. His mother and at least one of his sisters, Violet, are listed as members of New Court in 1921, but it is not clear how much they will have known of Daniel’s movements after his capture.
Also see Daniel’s ‘Meet the Soldier’ blog post.