Brown, Martin (No. 1149)

Brown, Martin

Company Sergeant Major

No. 1149, ‘B’ Company, 17th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Died of disease on Wednesday 22 March 1916 (aged 52)


Blaris Old Burial Ground, Co Down (Grave 194. A)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Fountainville Presbyterian Church Belfast

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour


Company Sergeant Major Martin Brown’s death was reported in the 25 March 1916 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle.

It was reported that he was a career soldier with 22 years of service in the Royal Irish Rifles and had served for a number of years in India.

Subsequent to the service in India he had served as a Sergeant on the Permanent Staff of the Royal North Downs at Newtownards.

While he lived in Newtownards Martin Brown was a member of both the Orange and Masonic Orders.

Martin Brown was born on 15 July 1864 in Denaight, Blaris, Lisburn

He was a son of John and Sarah Brown (nee McClean)

His father John worked as a kiln-man and also as a shepherd.

Sergeant Martin Brown Royal Irish Rifles was based in Newtownards when he and Mary Ann Bell were married on 22 February 1898 in St Aidan’s Parish Church of Ireland Church, Belfast.  Mary Ann Bell from 203 Donegal Road, Belfast was a daughter of William Bell, a labourer.

In 1901 Martin and Mary Ann Brown were living at 21 Balfour Street, Newtownards.

Martin and Mary Ann Brown had at least five children including:

Norman (born 25 June 1899 at 5 Fortuna Street, Belfast)

Ivy Victoria (born 21 October 1904 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)

Martin (born 28 August 1906 at 11 Napier Street, Belfast)

Kathleen (born 23 September 1908 at 145 Dunluce Avenue, Belfast)

In 1905, after he left the Army, Martin Brown was appointed caretaker with the Central Presbyterian Association and he held that position until the outbreak of the Great War.

In 1911 the Brown family was living at 148 Dunluce Avenue, Belfast.

In 1914 Martin Brown re-enlisted, joined the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (East Belfast Volunteers) and then transferred to the Reserve Battalion in January 1915.

Company Sergeant Major Martin Brown (No. 1149) was 52 when he died of acute bronchitis in the Military Hospital, Victoria Barracks, Belfast on Wednesday 22 March 1916.

When Company Sergeant Major Martin Brown died his wife was living at 94 Marlborough Park, Belfast.

Their eldest son, Norman was serving as a Lance Corporal with the Royal Irish Rifles at Ballykinlar, Co Down.

Company Sergeant Major Martin Brown (No. 1149) was buried in Blaris Old Burial Ground and he is commemorated in Fountainville Presbyterian Church Belfast and in the Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour.