Arthur Brown (1879–1955)


Australian Imperial Force 5810 70 Depot, 27th Battalion

Photographs courtesy Christine Hearne.

Arthur Brown

Biography [Christine Hearne]
Arthur was born in about 1880 at Shirland, the son of George and Elizabeth Brown. Just after his birth the family moved to live in Crich. Both Arthur and his father were boot makers. In 1889 he married Louisa Jane McCreery and continued to live in Crich. They had two children, Harold Spencer Brown and Dorothy Brown. The middle name “Spencer” ran in the Brown family. Arthur’s first cousin was called Arthur Spencer Brown and he is on the Lea Mills Roll of Honour – he was killed during the war. This Brown family, from Holloway, were also boot makers.
Arthur emigrated to Western Australia, leaving London on 9th July 1909 on SS Otway with his wife and family, and it was there on 24th May 1916 that he joined the Australian Imperial Forces, aged thirty-six – still working as a boot-maker. His address was recorded as Chapel Street, Burwood. The 27th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. It was initially raised in 1915 as part of the First Australian Imperial Force for service during World War I. During the conflict the battalion saw action briefly at Gallipoli before later fighting on the Western Front between 1916 and 1918, which is where Arthur served.

After demob he had a short time refining his boot-making skills at his father’s shop at the Market Place, Crich, before returning to Australia in Dec 1919. He died aged seventy-five in August 1955.

Arthur Brown in Australia

Arthur with his wife Louisa in Australia after the war

Arthur Brown in Australia

Arthur, on the right, with his wife and family.

Australian Service Record
BROWN Arthur 70 Depot, 27th Battalion. Joined 26 May 1916, Perth Western Australia. Address 644 Beaufort Street, Mt Lanley, Perth. Born Crich. Age 36 and 8 months. A bootmaker. Had been an apprentice for 7 yeras to G. Brown. Married to Louisa Janet Brown (1st house, Chapel Street, Burswood). Height 5ft 9¼in, fresh complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, C of E.
30/10/16 Embarked Freemantle
28/12/16 Disembarked Devonport
14/2/17 to France on ss Arundel
18/5/17 To 27th Battalion from16th Reinf 27th Btn
4/2/18 To hospital whilst sick on leave in UK
28/2/18 Discharged hospital at Harefield
12/3/18 To rejoin Unit
15/3/18 In France rejoining Unit
29/4/19 to 27/4/19 Granted leave with pay . Reason Bootmaking attending G Brown Crich, Matlock

Record of non-military employment: Employment arranged – Bootmaking and Stitchwork; Duration – 3 months 29/4/19 to 29/7/19; Full Military Pay; Railway Warrants to and from Crich value 6/3; Issue of working clothes – suit £2.5.6, overalls 14/11, cap 3/-
Remarks: Deficiencies in suit £2.5.6 debit in paybook. Course completed 29/7/19

Report of Firm: George Brown, Boot & shoe maker, Market Place, Crich – "Private Brown whilst employed by me was employed in all classes of work in connection with the Boot trade and proved himself to be a capable workman and carried out the duties alotted to him in a satisfactory manner. He was regular in attendance and conduct good."

Reference G/R.23914 dated 7 December 1922

14/5/16 Enlisted in the A.I.F.
30/10/16 Embarked for Active Services Abroad
28/12/16 Disembarked at Devonport
29/12/16 Marched into 7th. Tng Bn. Rollestone from Australia
04/02/17 Proceeded O/Seas to France
04/02/17 Marched into 2nd A.D.B.D. Etaples ex England.
15/02/17 T.B. Classified "A"
18/05/17 Taken on strength 27th Battalion
03/02/18 Proceeded to England on leave
04/02/18 Admitted to 2nd A.A. Hospital, Southall, whilst on leave from France
28/02/18 Discharged from hospital & to proceed O/Seas to rejoin Unit 12/03/18
15/03/18 Rejoined unit
01/11/18 Still with Unit
04/01/19 To England on leave
14/01/19 Rejoined Unit ex leave
15/03/19 Attached to B.Div Reft. Camp
24/04/19 Marched out to England
25/04/19 Disembarked at Southampton ex France & marched into No.2 Group, Sutton Veny. Granted leave from 29/04/19 to 29/07/19 with pay only
30/07/19 Marched into N.2 Group, S'Verny ex London H'qrs
03/09/19 Left England for return to Australia per "Barambah"
17/10/19 Disembarked at Freemantle
02/12/19 Discharged from the A.I.F. at Perth. termination of period of Enlistment

14-15 Star, British War and Victory Medals

Newspaper reports

Derbyshire Courier 11 January 1919
Private Arthur Brown, formerly of Crich, visited his father’s home during the week on leave from France. Private Brown is attached to the Anzacs, having joined an Australian contingent from Perth, Western Australia, to which place he emigrated a number of years ago.

Derbyshire Courier 2 August 1919
After a three months stay at his former home Pte. Arthur Brown of the Australian Imperial Forces left on Monday for Salisbury Plain from where he is to be demobilised. He expects to start back for his home in Perth, West Australia, in about a fortnight. Whilst in Crich he has assisted his father in the boot and shoe business.

Arthur's brother Frederick Brown is also on the Roll of Honour.


1891: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
George Brown Head 35 Boot & shoe maker South Normanton
Elizabeth Brown wife 32   Crich
Eliza Brown daughter 12 Scholar Shirland
Arthur Brown son 11 Scholar Shirland
Albert Henry Brown son 10 Scholar Crich
Florence Mary Brown daughter 7 Scholar Crich
Frederick Brown son 5 Scholar Crich

RG12 piece 2746 folio 89 page 3

1901: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Arthur Butler * Head 21 Bootmaker Shirland
Louisa Butler * wife 21   Wirksworth
Harold S Brown son 5 mo   Crich

RG13 piece 3231 folio 63 page 11

* Census enumerator recorded incorrect surname; he followed on from previous family