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William Edward Brown

Date of birth: 1897
Area: Lofthouse
Regiment: York and Lancaster
Family information: Son of William and Emily Jane Brown
Rank: Private
Service number: 144804

War Service

On 1st May 1916 William Edward enlisted in the Army, joining the 14th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment. At this time he gave his address as 36, Pawson Street, Lofthouse and stated he was employed as a gardener by T M Embleton of Methley. Given the service number 144804 Private Brown was transferred to the 90th Training Reserve Battalion in June 1916. On the 8th November 1916 he embarked at Devonport on his way to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. At this time he was transferred to the York and Lancaster Regiment, joining the 1st Battalion in Salonika, on the 19th December.
The 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment landed at Le Havre on the 17th January 1915, part of 83rd Brigade, 28th Division. The 28th Division remained on the western front until shortly after their deployment at the Battle of Loos in September 1915. At this time the 28th Division was posted to Egypt, but on arrival was re-deployed to Salonika.
The British Army, at the request of the Prime Minister of Greece, had entered the country to assist Serbia in their fight against Bulgaria. However they arrived too late to fulfil this task, but nevertheless stayed and fortified the area north of Salonika. The Bulgarians attempted to invade Greece in July 1916, but were repulsed near Lake Doiran. At the beginning of October 1916 the British and her Allies began operations along the River Struma towards Serres. The operation was a success, with the Rupell Pass being captured, before the advance was halted a few miles short of Serres. During April and May 1917 the fighting was centred round Lake Doiran, where the British attack made considerable gains and resisted strong counter-attacks.
Although casualties were incurred due to the fighting, the greatest cause of incapacity was sickness amongst the troops. In August 1917 Private Brown had been admitted to the 49th General Hospital. On 4th October, after the occupation of Mazirko, he was admitted to the 40th Casualty Clearing Station, suffering from malaria. Private Brown returned to England in January 1918 and was posted to the Regimental Depot at Pontefract. On the 18th March he was posted to the 3rd Battalion at Sunderland. William Edward Brown was still suffering from the effects of malaria and it was considered inappropriate that he be sent to any theatre of war, other than France or Italy.
However on 7th September 1918 Private William Edward Brown was discharged, as no longer fit for war service. At this time he received the Silver War Badge and gave his discharge address as 94, Leadwell Lane, Rothwell near Leeds. His date of death is not known.

Family Life

William Edward Brown was born in 1897, the eldest son of William and Emily Jane Brown of Lofthouse. His father, William Brown, a domestic gardener, married Emily Jane, the daughter of Matthew and Mary Rhodes of Robin Hood, in 1897. They had married in the Knaresborough registration district, where they were both employed at the time. In 1901 William Edward was living with his parents at Armitage’s Cottages, at Lofthouse. After the birth of two further sons, the family moved to Ivyridge Cottage at Oulton.

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