No. 11/17315, 18th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Died of disease on Friday 22 March 1918 (aged 20)
Belfast City Cemetery – Glenalina Extension (Grave C. 315)
Rifleman Samuel Browne (No. 17315) died of pulmonary tuberculosis in John Street, Newtownards on 22 March 1918 (aged 20).
In some records his surname is spelt Brown.
Samuel Brown was born on 20 November 1897 at 63 Upper Charleville Street, Belfast, and he was a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Brown (nee McAlpine) who were married on 12 July 1880 in St Enoch’s Presbyterian Church, Belfast. Samuel Brown, a preparing master from Belfast, was a son of James and Ellen Brown; James Brown worked as a flax buyer. Lizzie McAlpine, an ornamentor from Belfast, was a daughter of William McAlpine, a sea captain.
In some records his mother’s maiden name is spelt McAlpin, in others McCalpin, and in others McCoppin.
Samuel and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Brown (nee McAlpine) had ten children including:
James (born 6 May 1881 in Church Street, Cookstown, Co Tyrone)
Agnes (born 23 October 1882 in Gortalowry, Cookstown, Co Tyrone)
Robert Alexander (born 6 August 1888 at 87 Willowfield Street, Belfast)
May (born 20 October 1890 at 87 Willowfield Street, Belfast)
Margaret (born 18 April 1895 at 63 Upper Charleville Street, Belfast)
Samuel (20 November 1897 at 63 Upper Charleville Street, Belfast)
Four of their ten children died in infancy.
In 1911 Samuel was at school, and the Brown family was living at 4 Mountcashel Street, Belfast.
After leaving school, Samuel Brown worked as an apprentice mechanic in Mackie’s Foundry, Belfast. He enlisted in Lisburn on 12 September 1914, and it was noted in his attestation papers that he was 5 feet 7¼ inches tall with a fresh complexion, grey eyes, and fair hair. He served on the Home Front before going with the British Expeditionary Force to France on 3 October 1915 and he served there until 5 July 1916. He sustained a shrapnel wound to his left foot and spent 67 days in the 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester.
Rifleman Samuel Browne was discharged from hospital on 11 September 1916 and served on the Home Front until he was discharged from the Army on 18 May 1917, when he was deemed to be ‘no longer physically fit for war service’. He was issued with a silver war badge (No.235324) after serving with the Royal Irish Rifles for 2 years 250 days.
In civil death registration records it is noted that Rifleman Samuel Browne (No. 17315) died in John Street, Newtownards. In City Cemetery records it is noted that his last place of residence was Hillview Terrace, Newtownards. In Army pension records it is noted that the Brown family address was 19 Hillview Terrace, Newtownards.
These records are all correct; the full form of the address was 19 Hillview Terrace, John Street, Newtownards.
Rifleman Samuel Browne’s mother Elizabeth was living at 19 Hillview Terrace, Newtownards when she died on 9 July 1926 (aged 66).
Rifleman Samuel Browne’s father Samuel was living at 51 Southwell Road, Bangor when he died on 13 August 1939 (aged 84).
Both were buried in the same grave as their son: Belfast City Cemetery – Glenalina Extension (Grave C. 315).
Also buried in that grave was Rifleman Samuel Browne’s paternal grandmother, Ellen Brown who lived at 16 Hillview Street, Belfast before she died on 27 February 1919 (aged 83, as in civil death registration records or aged 87, as in cemetery records).