Percy George BROWN

Percy George BROWN

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4446), Percy George Brown was born on 27th July 1894 at Westham, England. He gave his age as 21 years and 3 months, his marital status as single and his occupation as labourer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 7 inches tall, weight 148 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had 18 months previous military service in the 1st C. B. Kings Royal Rifles. He completed his medical on the 16th October 1915 at Wellington, and was attested by Captain Nicholas at Dripstone on the 19th October 1915.

Percy George Brown was named as being one of the Wongarbon recruits in the Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate.[1]

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was not listed, and his next of kin is listed as his father, C. H. [Charles Henry] Brown, 81 Corporation Street, West Ham, London, England. (The address he gave on his Application to Enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form addressed to the Recruiting Officer at Dubbo was ‘Box 5, Cunnamulla Qld).’

Just before Private Brown embarked, it was reported in the Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate that he had written “The first batch of the Gilgandra “Coo-ees” to leave for the front will sail at the end of the present week. About 15 men, including four who enlisted at Dubbo, have been transferred into an earlier reinforcement of the same battalion, which the rest of the “Coo-ees” are in”.[2]

On 16th February 1916 Private Brown was one of this first group of Coo-ees to embark overseas, and departed Sydney on the HMAT Ballarat A70 as 14th reinforcement for the 13th Battalion, which arrived in Egypt on the 22nd March 1916.

HMAT Ballarat A70, 18/2/1916. Photograph from the AWM Collection PB0182.

HMAT Ballarat A70, 18/2/1916. Photograph from the AWM Collection PB0182.

On the 1st April 1916 he was transferred to the 54th Battalion at Ferry Post.

On 3rd April 1916 he was admitted to the 1st Field Ambulance, then moved to the 2nd Casualty Clearance Station at Ismailia with defective vision. On 4th April 1916 he was admitted to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital with Myopia. On 9th April 1916 he returned to his unit.

On 2nd June 1916 he was admitted to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital with defective vision. On 8th June he was transferred to the Training Battalion at Alexandria.

On 6th August 1916 Private Brown left Alexandria aboard His Majesty’s Transport Megantic, bound for England. On 1st December 1916 he marched into the 4th Training Battalion at Codford.

On 31st December 1916 he departed Folkestone aboard the transport Princess Henrietta for France. He marched into the 5th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples on 1st January 1917.

On 6th February 1917 Private Brown marched out of the Base Depot and on 8th February 1917. He was taken on strength of the 54th Battalion when it was manning the front line near Longueval France. On 24th February 1917 he was admitted to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance for eye treatment. He rejoined his Battalion on 25th February 1917.

On 4th April 1917 Private Brown was sent to hospital sick. On 20th April 1917 he was admitted to the 11th Stationary Hospital at Rouen with Influenza. On 24th April 1917 he was sent to the 2nd Convalescent Depot. On 1st May 1917 he was transferred to the 11th Convalescent Depot. On 29th July 1917 he was transferred to the 5th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve. He rejoined the 54th Battalion on 18th August 1917 when it was refitting and training at Renescure, France.

On 18th October 1917 Private Brown was admitted to the 8th Field Ambulance with debility. He was sent to the 5th Division Rest Station that same day. On the 30th of October 1917 he was sent to the 50th Casualty Clearing Station. On the 4th of November 1917 he was transferred to the 6th General Hospital at Rouen with Bronchitis. On the 8th of November 1917 he was transferred to the 2nd Convalescent Depot, then on 11th November 1917 he was sent to the 11th Convalescent Depot. On 30th January 1918 he marched into the 5th Division Base Depot at Le Harve. On 20th February 1918 he returned to the 54th Battalion when it was in the front line near Wijtschate, Belgium.

On 26th February 1918 Private Brown went on leave to the United Kingdom. He returned to the Battalion on 15th March 1918 when it was in reserve near Dranoutre, Belgium.

On 24th April 1918 Private Brown was with the 54th Battalion when it defending the vicinity of Villers Bretonneux, France. The Germans launched an attack on the Battalion which included the use of gas shells. The attack was repulsed with heavy casualties suffered by the Germans. The 54th Battalion suffered 3 men killed, 10 wounded, and 28 gassed. Private Brown was amongst those gassed. He was evacuated to the 14th Australian Field Ambulance then moved to the 61st Casualty Clearing Station. On 25th April he was sent to the 10th General Hospital at Rouen, then on 28th April to the 73rd General Hospital at Trouville, France. On 13th June 1918 he was transferred to the 1st Australian Convalescent Depot at Le Harve. On 3rd August 1918 he marched into the 5th Australian Division Base Depot.

On 13th August 1918 he rejoined the 54th Battalion when it was at Fuilloy, France, preparing to move back into the line.

On 27th September 1918 Private Brown was admitted to the 14th Australian Field Ambulance sick. On 28th September 1918 he was moved back to the 20th Casualty Clearing Station. On 29th September 1918 he was transferred to the 3rd Stationary Hospital at Rouen. On 30th September 1918 he was transferred to the 2nd Convalescent Depot. On 1st October 1918 he was moved to the 6th General Hospital. On 4th October 1918 he was evacuated to England, arriving at the 2nd Western General Hospital in Manchester on 5th October 1918. On 13th November 1918 he was transferred to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford. On 25th November 1918 he moved to the 2nd Convalescent Depot at Weymouth.

On 9th December 1918 Private Brown departed England for return to Australia aboard HT Argyllshire.

He arrived in Australia on 14th February 1919, and was discharged on 10th October 1919.

Private Brown’s return to Australia was reported as follows in The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate: “Recently returned from the front, after three years of active service, Private P. G. Brown. He joined up with “The Coo-ees” at Wongarbon early in October, 1915. He has seen service in Egypt and France, and was wounded and gassed. His many friends in Wongarbon and district will be pleased to hear of his safe return”.[3]

[1] ‘Our Soldiers’, The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, 29 October 1915, p. 4, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77601711

[2] ‘Our Soldiers’, The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, 4 February 1916, p. 4, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77604424

[3] ‘Personal Notes’, The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, 7 March 1919, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75636042

 

 

 

 

 

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