William Brown



Apr 13, 1881

Born in Ottawa, Ontario


Feb 11, 1915

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario 

Ø      Number 59108 (temporary number 1238)

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs. Thomas Fitzgerald, aunt, Pembroke, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Presbyterian 

The battalion trained in the Kingston area through the winter months of 1914-15


Apr 10, 1915

Sentenced to 10 days detention.  The offence was not recorded in the file


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec


May 15, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and the battalion proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent, to continue training


Jul 23, 1915

Sentenced to 10 days detention, forfeiture of 6 days pay, and restricted to half pay for 1 month for being absent for 6 days


Aug 5, 1915

Sentenced to 14 days detention, forfeiture of 2 days pay and restricted to half pay for 3 months for being absent


Sep 7, 1915

Sentenced to 28 days detention and forfeiture of 8 days pay for being absent


Sep 14, 1915

Released from detention early in order to embark the St. Seiriol in Folkestone

Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked in Boulogne, France and the battalion proceeded to St. Omer


Feb 24, 1916

Sentenced to 7 days Field Punishment #1, 14 days Extra Fatigues and fined $2.00 for being drunk and escaping custody


Jul 4, 1916

Sentenced to 28 days Field Punishment #1 for being absent and forfeited 3 days pay


Jul 15, 1916

Forfeited 1 day’s pay for being absent


Sep 15, 1916

The battalion was given the task of taking German strong point in a sugar refinery near Courcelette as part of the Somme Offensive.  During that advance, Private Brown received shrapnel wounds to his right leg.  He was first treated at a field ambulance then transferred to a casualty clearing station for further treatment before being admitted to the 1st Australian Hospital in Rouen


Sep 17, 1916

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Maheno

Posted to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) while in hospital

On disembarking in England he was admitted to the No. 2 Southern General Hospital, Bristol


Sep 29, 1916

Transferred to the Bearwood CCH (Canadian Convalescent Hospital), Wokingham


Oct 24, 1916

Discharged from hospital and reported to the CCAC at Shoreham


Nov 1, 1916

Attached to the CCD (Canadian Convalescent Depot) at Shoreham for Physical Therapy


Jan 24, 1917

Discharged from St. Leonard’s Hospital and TOS the 6th Reserve Battalion at East Sandling


Feb 15, 1917

Granted permission to marry


Mar 16, 1917

Next of kin is changed to read Mrs. Mary Ann Brown (nee Sparrow), wife, c/o Imperial Hotel, Belfast, Ireland then changed to read c/o Mr. Sparrow, 44 Commerce St., South Side, Glasgow, Scotland


May 3, 1917

Posted to the 21st Battalion


May 4, 1917

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 344 reinforcements for the front and TOS the 21st Battalion


May 31, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in the front line on Vimy Ridge


Aug 17, 1917

Proceeded on course.  (there is no mention of what type of course he was sent on)


Aug 28, 1917

Rejoined the battalion from course


Nov 3, 1917

The 21st Battalion moved into the Passchendaele front near Crest Farm in the early morning hours.  The enemy launched an artillery barrage followed by an attack by storm troopers.  The battalion suffered many casualties, Private Brown being among them, suffering from severe shrapnel wounds.  He was evacuated to the No. 44 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for treatment.


Nov 4, 1917

Private William Brown died of his wounds at the No. 44 CCS and was buried in the Nine Elms British Cemetery, near Poperinghe Belgium

Following the war the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were all sent to his widow, Mrs. M.A. Brown, Big Bridge, Knocknacarry, County Antrim, Ireland


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