Harold Clare Brown MSM

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Harold Clare Brown MSM
Brown Harold Clare.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 10 Feb 1894
Place of Birth Middle Swan, Western Australia
Death 10 Jan 1972, aged 77
Place of Death Osborne Park, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 47 years, 6 months
Description 5'7½" (1.72m) tall ; 119lbs
53.977 kg
; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; light brown hair ; scar on left forearm
Occupation Farmer
Religion Church of England
Address Clifton street, Kelmscott, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs. Dorothy Gwenlynn Hope Brown
Military Information
Reg Number 3091 & W15944
Date of Enlistment 11 Aug 1941
Rank Warrant Officer Class 1 (WW1); Sergeant (WW2)
Unit/Formation 5th Military District Accounts Office
Post War Details
Fate Remained in Australia
Medals Meritorious Service Medal
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Harold Clare Brown MSM
Plaque Information
Date of Birth 10 Feb 1894
Age at Death 77 years
Transcription In Loving Memory of Harold Clare Brown Born 1895 Died 10/01/1972 Aged 77 Years

Pre WW1

The son of farmers, William Edwards Brown and Martha Matilda Brown (nee Sewell). Harold's grandfather was Archdeacon James Brown. Harold attended Guildford Grammar School and later worked in the Western Australia Bank until about 1912. He then moved to farm work in Geraldton and Corrigin for several years.

WW 1 Service

Harold enlisted on 10 Jul 1915 and was initially allocated to the 10th reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion with service number 3091. After initial training at Blackboy Hill, on 13 Oct 1915 he embarked on HMAT A32 Themistocles for Egypt he received machine gun and artillery training and was re-assigned to the 4th Australian Machine Gun Company, later the 4th Australian Machine Gun Battalion.

In May 1916 his company was shipped to France, arriving in Marseilles on 8 June. Travelling by train, they arrived on the outskirts of Paris on 10 June where they were advised they were going straight into the shelled zone in northern France. They travelled through Amiens, Etaples, Boulogne and Calais before arriving at Bailleul, near Armentieres, 5 miles from the firing line. They then marched through French Flanders including Steenwerck, Erquinghem, Fleurbaix and Domart.

Harold kept a diary recording daily army life. On 15 July 1916 Harold climbed up to the top of the Domart-en-Ponthieu Church tower and cut his name in the stone beside one of the big bells in the tower, alongside a Frenchman's name which had been cut in 1702. In March 1917 he was hospitalised in the field with measles and in July 1918 hospitalised again due to raised temperature from the Spanish Flu. After the November 1918 Armistice he remained in France until 5 Jun 1919 when he returned to England.

Harold left England on HMAT A29 Suevic on 23 Jul 1919, disembarking in Fremantle on 2 Sep 1919. Harold was discharged on 30 Oct 1919 with the rank of Warrant Officer 1.

Award Comment

For consistent gallantry and devotion to duty during the 1918 offensive. As orderly room sergeant, BROWNS work has always been of the best. Although often under shellfire and exposed to bomb attacks, BROWN by his coolness and willingness has sent a splendid example and has been invaluable to the Battalion. He is strongly recommended for award.[1]

Between the wars

On his return to civilian life he initially worked as a journalist at the AGE newspaper in Melbourne. Harold married Dorothy Gwenlyn Hope Saunders (102 - 1975) on 4 Jun 1925 in Middle Swan and they returned to Melbourne where his daughter, Dorothy Gwen Elizabeth (1927-2015) was born. After their return to Western Australia, they went farming at Hines Hill near Merredin until about 1932. Their son Richard (1932-) was born whilst living there.

In 1942 Harold and Gwen purchased a property at Kelmscott — "Portaferry", on 10 acres of riverfront land between Albany Highway and the Canning River, on which he grew citrus fruit and poultry. In late 1950 they sold this and established a citrus nursery at 1954 Reynolds Road, Forrestfield. In 1962 they moved to a house at 3005 Albany Highway, Kelmscott, opposite Lefroy Road.

Electoral Roll entries: 1925 - 1930 Hines Hill, farmer; 1936 Clifton street, Kelmscott, poultry farmer; 1943 "Portaferry" Albany road, Kelmscott, soldier

WW2 Service

On 11 Aug 1941 Harold was called up for full time duty in the militia, enlisting in Perth. On 27 Oct 1941 he was transferred to 8th Supply Personnel Company where on 20 Nov 1941 he was promoted Corporal. Sent home on sick leave on 14 Sep 1942, he was then admitted to 110th Australian Base Hospital on 20 Sep 1942 with tonsillitis. On 29 Sep 1942 he was released from hospital to Western Command Recruit Reception & General Details Depot.

On 7 Mar 1943 Harold was granted leave, and then LWOP from 31 Jan - 6 Feb 1944. On 27 Mar 1944 Harold was promoted Acting Sergeant. He was confirmed in the rank on 14 Jul 1944 before being released for discharge on 9 December. Harold was discharged 3 days later on 12 Dec 1944.

Post WW2

Electoral Roll entries: 1949 "Portaferry" Albany road, Kelmscott; 1954 Reynolds road, Forrestfield, farmer; 1968 at 3005 Albany highway, Kelmscott, Nurseryman. In later years Harold became a skilled artist.

  1. Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No 67 dated 3 Jun 1919

External Links

Other Notes