BROWN, Harry

No.203942, Private, Harry BROWN
Aged 22

"C" Coy., 2nd/1st Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
formerly 20488 Ox & Bucks L.I.
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 22nd August 1917

Harry Brown was born in Stansfield (Risbridge Q4-1895 4A:704), son of Alfred and Elizabeth BROWN (née ADDISON).

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at Purton Green, Stansfield with his father Alfred BROWN [50] shepherd; his mother Elizabeth [41] born Downham, Cambs; sisters Mary [19] (housemaid) and Sophie [9]; brother George [14] farm labourer. All except his mother were born in Stansfield.

1911 census...Aged 15, a farm labourer, he was at Purton Hall, Stansfield with his parents.

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds.
The war diary has too many pages for the 22nd August to copy here, but in summary it was the first day of their attack in the POMMERN CASTLE sector. After much time in training and practice, a confident battalion was set for the off when our barrage opened at 4:30 am. Employing storm trooper tactics they advanced quickly, by-passing strong points, left to be dealt with by the "moppers up". Unfortunately the Germans with stubborn resistance and accurate machine gun fire depleted the moppers up to the extent they were unable to fulfil their planned task. This left the Germans in possession of strong points behind the battalion's leading waves. All four companies were cut off, runners were cut down by sniper fire so no communications were possible. The battalion on the left took POND FARM which relieved the pressure somewhat. With the German barrage concentrating on the STEENBEEK valley there was an un-eventful relief that evening by the 2/7th Worcesters.
From the 13 officers and 637 men who started the attack, the casualties totalled 11 officers and 338 OR. 39 killed, 153 wounded and 146 missing.

CWGC records give 143 killed on 22nd, only 9 with known graves.

Harry Brown is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial panels 96 to 98

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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