No.1978 Private Richard John Brown
Richard John Brown did not serve overseas in the Great War. He was discharged from the A.I.F. before he embarked, as “Services no longer needed”. No details were given.
Richard John Brown was born in 1886 to John Brown and Winifred Walsh at Kyneton in Central Victoria. He was possibly an only child.
After leaving school, Richard worked as a labourer, and in 1911 he married Annie Elizabeth Masterson at Kyneton.
At the time that he enlisted, the couple were living at the Police Paddock in Werribee, and had three children:
- John Brown - born 1911 at Little River.
- Mary Brown - born 1912 at Werribee.
- James Brown - born 1913 at Werribee.
They later had four more children:
- Edward Augustune Brown - born 1915 at Werribee
- Thomas Joseph Brown - born 1916 at Werribee
- Mary Winifred Brown - born 1919 at Werribee
- Nora Cecilia Brown - born 1920 at Werribee
The Victorian Electoral Rolls show that between 1912 and 1942, the Brown family resided in Werribee. Richard John Brown was recorded as a Labourer and Annie Elizabeth Brown, (his wife) was home duties.
In the early days of the war, Richard John Brown applied to enlist in the A.I.F. at Melbourne on 16 July 1915. Unusually, he was already nearly 30 years of age. After swearing his Oath, he was accepted on 26 July 1915 and sent to the 72nd Coy at the Seymour camp for initial training. He was transferred to the "B" Coy at Bendigo between 1 September 1915 and 12 October 1915, and then moved to "G" Coy at Geelong for one week, between 12 and 18 October 1915. Private Brown then moved to the "C" Coy in Geelong for two months between 18 October and 16 December 1915.
His training was then completed, and he was appointed to the 3rd Reinforcements for the 29th Battalion, at Broadmeadows.
Then, unexpectedly, he was discharged from the A.I.F., with his services no longer required on 5 January 1916. No other details were given, but he was possibly needed at home as his wife was pregnant, and had three young children to care for.
In 1931, Richard Brown was working for the Country Roads Board as a Country Roads Board patrolman. Werribee Shire Banner, 9 July 1931, p.1.
During World War Two, Richard Brown again enlisted in the A.I.F. His place of enlistment was Royal Park in Victoria, and his Service Number was V4286. At the time of writing this, his military record has not been released.
Interestingly, the Werribee Shire Banner again didn’t include his name in the "Active Service Honor Roll", in their editions throughout WWII.
At the time of his death in 1949, the Brown family were living at 11 Greaves Street, Werribee.
Richard John Brown died suddenly at a St Vincent’s Hospital on 2 September 1949, and was buried in the Werribee Cemetery.
He left a widow, five sons and two daughters. A son and daughter had predeceased him.
Werribee Shire Banner, 8 September 1949, p.2.
Medals and Entitlements:
- Nil awarded
The name "Browne, R. J." (typo with an "e" added) appeared on the first Roll of Honor, which was published by the Werribee Shire Banner, 22 July 1915, p.3. Two months later, the editor then deleted the name in all further editions published after 2 September 1915.
The name "Browne, R. J." only appeared in the Werribee Shire Banner’s Roll of Honor in their editions between July and September 1915. It is possible it may have been removed to avoid confusion with the name of a local Werribee Councillor, who also the same surname and initials.
The name "BROWN, R. J." is recorded on the Werribee Shire Oak Board.
Birth Certificate: Richard Brown. F. John Brown. M. Winifred Walsh. Reg 1887/12371
WW2 Military Service. V4286. 1939-1948 Royal Park Victoria
Great War Index Victoria 1914-1920 CD
Edwardian Index Victoria 1902-1913 CD
Federation Index Victoria 1889-1901 CD
Pioneer Index Victoria 1836-1888 CD