Brown, Francis Alfred Joseph

Brown, Francis Alfred Joseph (Frank)

Second Lieutenant

6th Battalion, Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment attached

8th Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers

Killed in action on Saturday 9 September 1916 (aged 21)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 16 C)

Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

First Bangor Presbyterian Church

Bangor Grammar School

Bangor Rugby Football Club

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance

Family grave headstone in Bangor Abbey Graveyard

BIOGRAPHY

In some records his surname is spelt Browne.

Francis Alfred Joseph Brown was born on 8 August 1895 in Mullaghmore, County Sligo and he was the youngest son of William Henry Harman Brown and Jane Eleanor Brown (nee Lindsay, born Co Antrim) who were married on 13 April 1871 in First Bangor Presbyterian Church.  William Henry Harman Brown (born in County Down) was a non-commissioned naval officer from Bangor and he was a son of John Brown, a master mariner.  Jane Eleanor Lindsay (born in County Antrim) from Ballyholme was a daughter of Samuel Lindsay, an accountant.

After moving from Mullaghmore, Co Sligo to Bangor, the Brown family lived at 8 Belfast Terrace, Ballyholme.  Later they lived at 19 Ballyholme Esplanade, Bangor.

William Henry Harman Brown, Chief Officer Royal Navy (retired) and Jane Eleanor Brown had twelve children including:

Jane (Janie, born 17 August 1873 in Malinmore, Co Donegal; a book-keeper, died of peritonitis in Ballymagee Street, Bangor 29 November 1899 aged 26)

Agnes Martha (born 4 September 1875 in Malinmore, Co Donegal; died 9 April 1879 aged 3 years 8 months)

Amy Elizabeth (born 15 November 1877 in Malinmore, Co Donegal; died 24 April 1879 aged 1 year 5 months)

Edith Mary (born 8 September 1879 in Malinmore, Co Donegal)

William Henry Harman (born 16 August 1881 in Teelin, Co Donegal; died 20 June 1906 aged 25; he worked for HM Customs, was drowned while bathing and was buried at Pagoda Anchorage, Foo Choo, China)

Anna Elizabeth Lamont (born 5 September 1883 in Teelin, Co Donegal; died 25 May 1901 aged 17)

Frederick John (born 30 October 1885 in Mullaghmore, Co Sligo)

Herbert Samuel Lindsay (born 29 June 1887 in Mullaghmore, Co Sligo)

Eveleen Isabel (Eva born 30 August 1889 in Mullaghmore, Co Sligo)

Arthur Robert Leitch (born 3 April 1892 in Mullaghmore, Co Sligo)

Francis Alfred Joseph (born 8 August 1895 in Mullaghmore, Co Sligo)

Francis Alfred Joseph Brown attended Bangor Grammar School from 1909 until 1911.

After leaving school Francis Alfred Joseph Brown entered the Civil Service and on 11 October 1915 he joined the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Officers’ Training Corps (OTC).

He secured a commission in the Leinster Regiment and was later attached to the Royal Munster Fusiliers.  Two of his brothers were also on active service during the First World War, one with the Navy and the other with the Army.

On 5 September 1916, four days before he died, Second Lieutenant Frank Brown wrote his last letter home; he was killed during the attack on Ginchy.  When the attack started he jumped over the parapet and led his men towards the German trenches under heavy rifle and machine gun fire from the enemy.  He fell within 30 yards of the German lines. Afterwards the Chaplain wrote saying that Frank Brown had been at the taking of Guillemont on 3 September and that ‘he had behaved splendidly; he was the only officer of his company to come back from there’.

Second Lieutenant Frank Brown was 21 when he died and he has no known grave.  He is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum; in First Bangor Presbyterian Church; in Bangor Grammar School; in Bangor Rugby Football Club; on the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial; in the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance and on the family grave headstone in Bangor Abbey Graveyard.

His father, William, died on 1 May 1921 (aged 76) and his mother, Jane, died on 4 October 1933 (aged 83).