Russell, Brian Bevan (No. 278612)

Russell, Brian Beven (Brian)

Lieutenant

No. 278612, 3rd Battalion, Irish Guards

Killed in action on Monday 2 April 1945 (aged 20)

Buried:

Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany                     (Grave 13. B. 23)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Campbell College Belfast

BIOGRAPHY

In the CWGC Debt of Honour website it is recorded that Lieutenant Brian Beven Russell (No. 278612) was a stepson of Major W.H.E. Welman of Donaghadee.

Brian Beven Russell was born on 10 April 1924 in Dublin and he was the elder son of Wing Commander George Henry Russell DFC and Mary (Molly) Sarah Russell (nee Knox-Peebles) who were married on 10 August 1920 in Christ Church, Church of Ireland Church, Leeson Park, Dublin.  George Henry Russell, then a Lieutenant in the RAF stationed in The Barracks, Fermoy was a son of Major General John Joshua Russell.  Mary Sarah Knox-Peebles, a minor from 31 Leeson Park, Dublin was a daughter of George Murray Knox-Peebles, a solicitor, and Ailne Mary Knox-Peebles (nee O’Brien), of Westfield Park, Harold’s Cross, Dublin.

When George Murray Knox-Peebles was born on 4 December 1871 in Derriaghy, Lisburn, and when he was married on 1 January 1898 in Fahan Parish Church of Ireland Church, Londonderry, his name was registered as George Murray Knox.  When his daughter, Mary Sarah (Molly), was born on 30 August 1899 in Palmerstown, Dublin her name was registered as Mary Sarah Knox.  In the 1911 census the family surname was Knox, so it was after that date, and before Molly’s marriage in 1920, that the Knox family surname was changed to Knox-Peebles.

Brian Beven Russell’s maternal grandfather, George Murray Knox-Peebles, died on 16 November 1926 (aged 55).

Brian Beven Russell’s maternal grandmother, Ailne Mary Knox-Peebles, died on 15 June 1945 (aged 72).

The marriage between George Henry Russell DFC and Mary (Molly) Sarah Russell (nee Knox-Peebles) was dissolved on 24 October 1927 and, on 18 November 1927, Mary (Molly) Sarah Russell (nee Knox-Peebles) and William Welman (then a Captain in the Royal Field Artillery) were married on 18 November 1927 in Harold’s Cross Church of Ireland Church, Dublin.

Thus, Brian Beven Russell became a stepson of Major William Herbert Eyre Welman who later lived in Herdstown House, Donaghadee and, before that, in Innisfree, Cairnburn Road, Belfast.

Brian Beven Russell attended Campbell College, Belfast from 1937 until 1941 and he was a member of the school swimming team.  He was an accomplished piper and played in the school Band.  His younger brother, John Anthony Russell, also attended Campbell College.

During the Second World War Lieutenant Brian Beven Russell (No. 278612) served with the Irish Guards and was killed in action on 2 April 1945, just a few days before his 21st birthday.  He was killed during the advance into Germany from Oldenzaal in the Netherlands.

Lieutenant Brian Beven Russell (No. 278612) is commemorated in Campbell College and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

LOVED AND REMEMBERED ALWAYS

During the Second World War Brian Beven Russell’s uncle, Major William Charles Knox-Peebles, served with the 6th Airborne Division and was 43 when he was killed in action in Germany on 24 March 1945.  He was:

  • The elder son of George Murray Knox-Peebles and Ailne Mary Knox-Peebles of Westfield Park, Harold’s Cross, Dublin
  • The husband of Ann Knox-Peebles (nee O’Reilly)
  • A brother of Molly Welman (formerly Russell, nee Knox-Peebles)

Major George Edward Knox-Peebles, younger brother of Major William Charles Knox-Peebles, was awarded the DSO in December 1941.

Lieutenant Brian Beven Russell’s mother, Molly Sarah Welman, died in Musgrave Clinic Belfast on 22 February 1952 (aged 52).

In 1955, Lieutenant Brian Beven Russell’s stepfather, Major William Herbert Eyre Welman, married Cicely Mildred O’Carroll Smyth (nee Darby).