Calais 1940 Veterans of The Rifle Brigade

Discussion in '1940' started by Paul Bradford, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Paul Bradford

    Paul Bradford Active Member

    Hello All,

    I have seen a few Veteran Soldiers welcomed to the Forum and it has just occurred to me that there might be some of The Rifle Brigade that were captured at Calais. Getting a bit late to ask I know (!) but having read a couple of books on the subject (I have just begun reading Eric Linklater's HMSO pamphlet) and utilising the internet, I thought there might still be someone alive that remembers my Grandfather either at Calais or afterwards at Stalag 383 Hohenfels and would be happy to talk.


  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Is this your Grandfather
    British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920
    Name: Reginald Macdonald Brown
    Gender: Male
    Birth Date: abt 1900
    Enlistment Age: 18
    Document Year: 1918
    Residence Place: 31 Wyndham St, Marylebone Rd
    Regimental Number: 47572
    Other Regimental Numbers: 65442
    Regiment Name: Training Reserve Battalion
    Number of Images: 14
    Form Title: Record of Service
    Other Records: Search for 'Reginald Macdonald Brown' in other WWI collections
    Family Members:
    Name Relation to Soldier
    Reginald Macdonald Brown Self (Head)
    Ellen Walter Sister

    From Ancestry

    Link for future ref -
    Paul Bradford likes this.
  3. Paul Bradford

    Paul Bradford Active Member

    Hi TD,

    Thank you for that very welcome piece of information! It look's as if it might be him. Reginald was my Grandfather on my Mother's side. He had a further middle name of Woodfine. That isn't shown on the record. I haven't researched him much yet. He was actually medically discharged as they found out that he was deaf in one ear. As a young boy, I recall him wearing a hearing aid in one ear, which was linked by a wire to a battery operated that he kept in his shirt pocket. After my Nan died in 1966, he spent quite a lot of money at the time on a better hearing aid. At that point, when he was tested, he found out that he had been wearing the hearing aid in the wrong ear for 48 years!
    It is interesting to see from the record that he was posted to the Bedford Regiment.
    I haven't a full membership to Ancestry. I wanted to find as much information to go on before I did that. His wife (my Nan) was Minne Price, which is shown on another record that I don't have access to. So, that could very well be him. However, I don't remember an Aunt Ellen, although he did have about 12 brothers and sisters. I'll have to get some details from one of my sisters, who has all of the birth certificates.
    Thank you again.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Reginald Macdonald Woodfine Brown
    BIRTH 24 JUN 1900 • Croydon, Surrey
    DEATH 28 JUN 1976 • Elm Park, Essex, England

    married Minnie Price

    Possibly Ellen:
    Bertha Ellen Brown
    BIRTH DEC 1890 • Croydon, Surrey, England
    DEATH Unknown

    All from an Ancestry family tree

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  5. Paul Bradford

    Paul Bradford Active Member

    TD, Thank you. That is them. I'll have to join Ancestry now just to find out who put the photographs up! Both Minnie and Reg had about eleven or twelve siblings each, so when the family got together it was always a big event! Reg's brother Arthur, known by us as Uncle Arty was older than Reg and also served in WW1. (Don't you wish that you had asked questions years ago?!!) He outlived Reg by quite a few years. He was jilted during the War and never married, which was always a bit of a surprise to me as there was quite a male/female imbalance post War. Bertha seems to ring a bell, but I'm not sure. Looking at her birth year, she might well have died while I was young, or before I was born. Plenty to look at!
    Thanks again.
  6. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Brown Household (3 People)
    68 Eyhurst Avenue, Hornchurch U.D., Essex
    Reginald M (W) Brown - 24 Jun 1900 - Clerk, Wholesale ??
    Minnie Brown - 10 Mar 1899 - Unpaid Domestic Duties
    Sorry, this record is officially closed.
    Paul Bradford likes this.
  7. Paul Bradford

    Paul Bradford Active Member

    Thanks Harkness. That's where I lived for the first three to four years of my life. We had the smallest bedroom as a kitchen. I can remember the sleeping arrangements, but must have shared the rear bedroom with my parents until we got a Council house in Cranham. My Mum would have been there at that time.
    Reg was one of the local ARP Wardens. My Nan was a Seamstress. I do remember her working in a shop in Elm Park when I was young.
    After my Nan died in 1966, my Mum went back to clear out some of my Nan's things. Under the stairs was Reg's ARP Warden helmet and the families gas masks, still boxed up. I wanted to keep it, (eight as the time, so anything like that would be special!) but it got thrown away. I remember in later years talking to my Mum about it and she regretted throwing the items away.
    It's funny the things that you remember. It's just come to mind that Reg worked for Bourne & Hollingsworth in Oxford Street, London in their accounts department. I remember my Mum taking me up to his office there before he retired aged 65. He only received the traditional gold watch (No pensions then. I wonder what happened to that?) and went back to work for a short while for another company. He remembered the Zeppelin bombing raids on London and said that he had a revolver to carry when he was carrying the wages!
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019

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