Browne, William Angus

Browne, William Angus

Lieutenant

8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

attached 53rd Squadron, Royal Flying Corps

Killed in action on Friday 21 September 1917 (aged 24)

Buried:

Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery, France (Grave IV. G. 25)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Kircubbin Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity) and

Family grave headstone in the adjoining graveyard

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance

BIOGRAPHY

William Angus Browne was born on 2 April 1893 in Kircubbin and he was the younger son of William and Ellen Johnstone Browne (nee Davidson) of Tubber-na-carrig, Kircubbin who were married on 24 April 1876 in Innishargie Parish Church of Ireland Church, Balligan.  William Browne, a schoolmaster from Kircubbin was a son of John Browne, a linen merchant.  Ellen Davidson, a teacher from Kircubbin (she was originally from Greyabbey) was a daughter of Robert Davidson, a gardener.

William Browne was the Principal of Tubber National School Kircubbin for 36 years and Ellen also taught in Tubber School.  William and Ellen Browne (nee Davidson) had eight children, all of whom were baptised in Kircubbin Parish Church of Ireland Church:

Emily Davidson (born 31 March 1877 in Kircubbin; married John Boyd Iliff 22 July 1897; died 27 November 1968)

Jane Mayes (Jennie, born 20 January 1879 in Kircubbin; married William Iliff 17 October 1899; daughter Jennie Mayes born 2 February 1905; died following childbirth 10 February 1905, aged 26)

John Boyd (born 26 October 1880 in Kircubbin)

Harriet Selena Hatton (born 8 October 1882 in Kircubbin)

Helen Lyle (Nellie, born 15 July 1885 in Kircubbin; married James Hawks Stokes)

Lucy Caroline (born 20 May 1887 in Kircubbin; unmarried; died 5 February 1943)

Sara Miriam (born 1 May 1889 in Kircubbin; unmarried)

William Angus (born 2 April 1893 in Kircubbin)

William Angus Browne’s father died of Bright’s Disease on 17 June 1907 (aged 58), his mother died of cancer on 15 January 1909 (aged 60) and both were buried in Kircubbin Parish Church graveyard.

William Angus Browne attended the Belfast Municipal Technical Institute to do an engineering course and on 1 September 1914 he joined the QUB Officers’ Training Corps (OTC).

During the First World War, William Angus Browne served with the 8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and was attached to the 53rd Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps.

He was commissioned on 9 October 1915.

Lieutenant William Angus Browne was initially posted as missing in action on 21 September 1917 and then in February 1918 it was officially confirmed that he had been killed in action.

The For King and Country notice which appeared in the Newtownards Chronicle was submitted by his sister, Miss Lucy Browne, who lived at 113 Agincourt Avenue, Belfast and it was she who received the medal pair to which he was entitled.  It was she who chose the message for inscription on his CWGC headstone:

GLADLY HE LIVED

AND GLADLY DIED

James Hawks Stokes and Helen Lyle Stokes (nee Browne) had a son they named William Angus Bartlett Stokes (named after William Angus Browne) and he was killed in the Second World War.  Flying Officer (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) William Angus Bartlett Stokes (No. J/18752) served with 295 (RAF) Squadron in the Royal Canadian Air Force and was 24 when he died on 11 June 1943.  He was buried in Heanton Punchardon (St. Augustine’s) Churchyard, Devon.

John Boyd Iliff and Emily Davidson Iliff (nee Browne) had a son they named William Angus Boyd Iliff and he was knighted by the Queen in 1961.

Lieutenant William Angus Browne was 24 when he died, and he was buried in Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery, France.

Lieutenant William Angus Browne is commemorated in Kircubbin Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity); on the family grave headstone in the adjoining graveyard; on the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial and in the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance.