Born: 1889, Ipswich.
Died: 18th August 1915; age 26; KiA – On a dangerous reconnaissance, accompanied by his Corporal; Eric was shot through the head, dying an hour later without recovering consciousness.
His men were so overcome by their loss that they were ordered out of the trenches and relieved by another Company.
Eric joined the 4th Battalion, of the Suffolk Regiment, as a Second Lieutenant in October 1909. His Regiment went to France in November 1914. He was for some time the Senior Territorial Officer with the Regiment, when his Senior Officer was wounded and invalided home. Eric was the right-hand man of his Colonel.
Residence: “Villette” Tuddenham Road, Ipswich.
Date of Entry Therein: 9th November 1914.
Regiment: Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line (incl. Yeomanry and Imperial Camel Corps) Battalion: 4th Suffolk Yeomanry.
Gazetted to 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, October 1908.
Medals Awarded: Victory & British War. Military Cross and Gazetted 29th June 1915.
Mentioned in Despatches in May 1915.
Body exhumed in November 1923 from Vielle Chapelle Old Military Cemetery, identified by a certified report, a cross on grave and clothing, before reburial.
XVII. C. 6.
Pas de Calais,
Relatives Notified and Address: Son of Edgar Jermyn Brown and Annie Josephine Brown, of “Villette” Tuddenham Road, Ipswich.
Brother to HORACE MANTON BROWN – KiA.
1891 Villette, Tuddenham Road, Ipswich.
Eric was 2 years old and living with his parents
Edgar Jermyn Brown, 34, a Timber Merchant – own account, born Ipswich.
Annie Josephine Brown (nee Lovely), 32, born Calcutta, India.
Cecil Jermyn Brown, 4, born Ipswich.
Nina Josephine Brown, 1, born Ipswich.
Edith Annie Brown 2 months, born Ipswich.
1901 Villette, Tuddenham Road, Ipswich.
Eric was 12 years old and living with his parents & siblings.
Edgar, 44, a Timber Merchant – employer.
Keith William Brown, 8, born Ipswich.
Harcourt Glyn Brown, 7, born Ipswich.
Horace Manton Brown, 3, born Ipswich.
1911 Villette, Tuddenham Road, Ipswich.
Eric was 22 years old, a Timber Merchant and living with his parents & siblings.
Edgar, 54, a Timber Merchant – employer.
Eric was educated at Ipswich School – entered the Preparatory School in January, 1896, he was 8 years old – entered the Sixth Form in September 1903. He became a member of the School O.T.C. in 1901, and attained the rank of Sergeant. Eric became a Prefect in 1904. He won numerous prizes including a Bartlet Scholarship in 1902. He won Colours for Gymnastics in 1902, and the School Gold Medal for Gymnasium in 1902, 1903, and 1906. He represented the School at Aldershot for five years, four of which he was partnered by his brother Cecil. Eric did well in Athletic Sports, and played for the 1st XI. at Cricket, in 1904, 1905, and 1906, and at Football in 1905 and 1906, and at Hockey in 1906. Eric belonged to every School society, and was on the Games Committee.
In 1910, he became Secretary for the Old Ipswichian Club, and was engaged when war broke out in compiling a register of the names and addresses of all O.I’s who had entered the school in the last 60 years.
The Globe – 5th February 1914 – for Old Boys of Queen Elizabeth School, Ipswich, are asked to send their present address to E.L. Brown, “Villette” Tuddenham Road, Ipswich, for the purpose of bringing the school register up-to-date.
After leaving school, Eric went into business in Ipswich and London, afterwards spending six months in Finland, gaining an insight into the Timber business. He returned to England in 1908, and played Cricket with Ipswich & East Suffolk Club, and represented Ipswich Town. He assisted the O.I. XI., in the Arthur Dunn Cup on several occasions. He later gave up Football to play Hockey for Ipswich Town.
Ipswich School magazine – November 1915
The Daily News & Leader – 22nd April 1915 A HERO’S DEATH – Captain Eric L. Brown, in a letter to the parents of Company Sergeant Major Frost, of the Suffolks, who was killed at Neuve Chapelle, says: “At the battle of Neuve Chapelle, after he had received a severe shaking from a shell, he was up at the front encouraging the men, and he made use of the following expression: ‘Come on, men. If we have got to die we’ll die like Englishmen.’ This was when we were advancing under an extremely heavy shell fire. You will, I feel sure, understand from this little anecdote how much I miss him. He was killed by a bomb exploding in the trench.
On the 29th November 1917, Edgar Jermyn Brown Esq. applied for the 1914 Star in respect of his late son Eric.
Eric’s brother Cecil was an author & editor in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Cecil abridged and edited ‘The Three Musketeer’s’ by Alexandre Dumas in 1936.
CAPTAIN E. L. BROWN
KILLED IN ACTION
The relativies of Captain Eric L. Brown, of the 4th Suffolks, have received an intimation from the War Office that this gallant young officer was killed in action on the 18th August. An expression of Lord Kitchener’s sympathy accompanies the official message.
Captain Brown joined the 4th Suffolks in 1909, and made rapid progress getting his company in 1912. He was a very keen officer, a splendid leader, and devoted to his men. Although some of them found him something of a disciplinarian. He was of the greatest assistance to his commanding officer, and will be very much missed. He was the last of the original Captains who went out with the 4th Suffolks to France left with the battalion, all the others having been killed or wounded. About three months ago he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. His brother, Lieutenant Brown, of the 4th Battalion, was invalided home with scarlet fever, and has not yet gone back. Another brother, however, has just gone out to the Front, and a third brother has come home from St. Vincent to enlist, having just arrived. Suffolk and Essex Free Press – 25th August 1915
Eric’s maternal grandfather was the Reverend George Lovely was born in November 1825, Dublin, Ireland. In Dublin, 1851, George married Margaret Sarah Robinson. During December 1855 he was appointed by the Hon’ble Court of Directors an Assistant Chaplain of the Bengal Establishment. He sailed on the Royal Navy steam two deck battle ship S.S.’Agamemnon,’ and on arrival reported to the Presidency on the 9th. In 1871, George was Chaplain of Gowhatty. On the 7th November 1876, Reverend George Lovely, clerk, was licensed to the Vicarage or Perpetual Curacy of St. Mary Key Church, Ipswich. The Reverend George Lovely remained vicar of St. Mary Key Church until his death in February 1895, at 32, Foundation Street, Ipswich. Margaret Lovely died in April 1906.
WILLIAM BROWN & Co., TIMBER MERCHANTS
Eric’s paternal family business Messrs. William Brown and Co., Timber Merchants of Ipswich and Woodbridge, was established by his great grandfather, William Brown, born December 1779, Framlingham, Suffolk. William married Harriet Jermyn. William’s business supplied sawn and prepared wood. He died in 1851, Ipswich and laid to rest at St. Nicholas’ Churchyard, Ipswich. The timber business was succeeded by William’s sons and grandsons for three generations.
Eric’s paternal grandfather, William Brown, born 1820, Ipswich and married to Esther Landon, took charge of his father’s business when only 19 years old. Being a young man of great energy, the business quickly developed, until it was found necessary to expand the premises so as to keep pace with the constantly increasing trade. William purchased a convenient site on the other side of Friars’ Road, then forming the late Mrs. Orman’s garden. Here he erected saw mills and other plant on a large scale, and did an extensive business in Ipswich and a branch at Woodbridge, Suffolk. At one period, Mr. Joshua Farrar Ranson, of 6, Friars Road, Ipswich, a Timber Merchant was associated with him in trade until he left to reside in Norwich, Norfolk. Mr. Henry Ridley, of 26, St. Nicholas Street, Ipswich, a Timber Merchant and Town Councillor filled his place. William Brown continued his active supervision of the business until a junction was effected with Messrs. Charles Taylor, of Mistley House, High Street, Mistley, a Bank Manager and Timber Merchant and Joseph Richard Butler, of High Street, Manningtree, Timber Merchant. The partnership which worked well, with each firm retaining its respective style. It was at this time when the two businesses merged that William Brown sought retirement, and handed over his interest to his sons, of whom the eldest, Edgar Brown, and the youngest, Arthur Brown are identified with the Ipswich business; the third so, Philip Brown, had charge of the Woodbridge branch. The second son, Frank Brown, was an Architect by profession. William Brown, of Gippeswyck Hall, died at Tunbridge Wells, in October 1891. He was at the time of his death a member of the Ipswich Dock Commission, and of the Ipswich Museum Committee, and for some time filled the office of churchwarden of St. Nicholas Parish Church.
Eric’s father, Edgar Jermyn Brown in June 1893, erected new saw mills in their yard at Friars Road. By using gas instead of steam the machinery supplied by Messrs. A. Ransome and Co., of Chelsea, was capable of working a log frame, deal timber, two circular saws and moulding simultaneously. The motor power was one of Otto’s gas engines (16 h.p. nominal) which was fixed by Messrs. Warner and Son, of Princess Street, Ipswich. Messrs. William Brown & Co. had for some years used gas for this purpose at Woodbridge, and believed they were the first firm to employ it for driving a saw mill in Ipswich. Besides the mill they had a steam mill in their yard near the docks,
Later the company became incorporated as a Limited Company and in 1906, amalgamated with Palfreman & Co., followed by George Mason, in 1911. William Brown & Co., and grown at their wharf at Ipswich docks and environs to become merchants and importers of timber, builder’s merchants and cement, plaster and slate merchants.