Royal Irish Rifles
Newtownards and District War Memorial
The name Hugh Brown is listed on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the booklet produced for the Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony held on Saturday 26 May 1934 he is described as a Rifleman in the Royal Irish Rifles.
The organising committee of the day decided to include the names of ex-servicemen who died up to that date from what they considered to be war related causes, whether as a result of wounds or disease.
Hugh Brown who served with the Coldstream Guards (No. 1512) during the South African War enlisted in Newtownards on 17 September 1914 and served with ‘B’ Company of the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (No. 17325).
He said that he was Church of Ireland and declared his age to be 38 years 6 months.
Prior to enlisting he worked as a bricklayer and was a member of ‘A’ Company in the Newtownards branch of the Ulster Volunteer Force.
Hugh Brown and Mary McKee were married on 24 August 1898 in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards. Hugh Brown, a stone mason from Newtownards, was a son of John Brown, a stone mason. Mary Jane McKee from Newtownards was a daughter of John McKee, a weaver.
Hugh and Mary Brown (nee McKee) had at least five children including:
Maggie (Madge, born 22 January 1900 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
Maggie (born 1 June 1907 in William Street, Newtownards)
John (born 19 May 1909 in William Street, Newtownards)
Lizzie (born 15 December 1910 in William Street, Newtownards)
The Brown family lived at 72 Movilla Street, Newtownards.
Before that the Brown family lived in William Street and also at 37 Greenwell Street.
In November 1917 the 11th and 13th Battalions of the Royal Irish Rifles were amalgamated and after they were disbanded in February 1918 Hugh Brown was transferred to the 12th Battalion.
Desk searches and public appeals to date have not confirmed a connection between these service data and the soldier who is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.