Henry Simmonds Brown
† Brown, Private Henry Simmonds no.7688.
34th Battalion D Company, formerly 3rd Battalion 26th Reinforcements.
“Harcourt” Anglo Road, Campsie.
Born Brisbane June 22,1899, son of Mary E. & Thomas Brown.
Educated Erskineville PS.
Lived in Campsie.
Trained in the Commonwealth Military Forces Voluntary Cadet Corps, and the 34th and 19th Battalions, CMF.
Enlisted at Campsie 12/8/1917, aged 18.
Serving in the 19th Battalion at the time of enlistment.
Next of kin, mother, Mrs M.E. Brown, Anglo Road, Campsie.
Embarked February 26,1918.
War service: France.
Casualty list SMH 16/9/1918 Killed in action 8/8/1918.
Private Brown made the supreme sacrifice at L’Accruche Wood, August 8, 1918.
Wounded at Warfusee.
AWM File IDRL428 Letters to the Red Cross re Australian servicemen:
Signaller W. Rankin no.2867 D Company 34th Battalion, 3rd AGH Dartford 17/10/1918:
Private Brown was in D Company and in the 13th Platoon. I saw him killed at Accroche Wood, near Corbie, when death was instantaneous. J. Gurney no. 7743 was killed by the same shell, some pieces of which killed Brown. The casualty happened on the morning of 8/8/1918 at which time we were attacking. I was very close myself at the time. I knew him fairly well, and he came from Sydney NSW. I cannot give any details of burial, but we held the ground, so he was sure to be buried Refer to Sergeant McCallum [i.e. McCormack], D Company, 34th Battalion, who is now in France, for I'm sure he will know the details of burials.
Sergeant M. McCormack no. 1190, ward 28, Harefield: It was near Villers Bretonneux in Hangard Wood he was killed by a bit of shell. Killed at once - he was hit on the side of the head. I was in charge of the Platoon. We had to go on but next day when things were settled I came back to look for the body but the Pioneers had been along and buried him somewhere.
Private W. Amos no. 7684 34th Battalion C Company 12th Platoon, Anzac Buffet: He was in A Company. Early in the morning of 8th August outside Croche Wood, on the right of Hamel, during our advance, he and another man had taken shelter in a shell hole. He was killed outright by a shell. I saw him after. He was hit all over, and the other man (Gurney) died of wounds. I know nothing of his burial as we kept advancing. I knew him as “Brownie”. He came from Campsie NSW. I knew him in Australia.
Private J.E. Cooper no.7123 34th Battalion, London, 10/1/1919: I can supply a little information as to where he was killed on the 8th August 1918. I did not know him very long, but I knew his initials were H.S. and his number was 7688. He was killed beside me. He was a stout dark chap, not very tall, about 5ft 5ins at a rough guess, and was buried on the field with a chap named Gurney; both had been killed together, and buried together.
Private W.R. Rinkin no.2867 34th Battalion, Victoria Barracks, Sydney, 24/3/1919: Brown was in the same Platoon with me. I knew him well. He was 5ft 6ins in height, medium complexion, clean shaven. He was killed at Accroche Wood near Corbie on 8th August 1918. I saw him killed. He was killed by a shell outright, by the same shell that killed J. Gurney no. 7743. Brown was a very good fellow and well liked.
Enquiry from Private A. McPherson enquiring after Harry Brown: Dear Sir, I have just received a letter from a friend of mine in Australia. She tells me of a great friend of hers that was killed on the eighth of August this year 1918. Mrs Samuels wants to know if I could find out where and how this friend Harry Brown was killed, if anybody saw him. Particulars: Harry S. Brown, 19 years of age, no. 7688 26th Reinforcements of 3rd Battalion. He had a brother wounded and went to Blighty a Sergeant. If you could find out any information regarding Private Brown would you please forward same to the undermentioned address: Mrs E. Samuels, “Hazelville ’’ Carrington Square, Campsie.
Re-buried Villers Bretonneux Military Cemetery 62.D.0.17.C.4.3 Plot 20 Row F Grave 2.
Killed in action 8/8/1918, aged 19.
Buried at Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, grave XX F 2.
Portrait and biography in The All-Australia Memorial 1919.
Tele/Mirror list 11/11/1993 Killed in Action 8/8/1918.
Australian War Memorial record available at: https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1802156/ [accessed 05/08/2016].
The primary source of the information on this page is copied from the prize winning publication Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. This book is the culmination of 12 years (1988-2000) research by a team of volunteers from the Canterbury and District Historical Society led by Dr Lesley Muir. Without this team's effort and dedication and the Society's willingness and support, this information would not be available today.
An uneditable version of the book Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe is in the eBook section of this wiki. In the main section, there is an alphabetical list of the 1,911 individuals recorded in the book - the list is titled Canterbury's Boys List. Each name in the list is linked to an editable biographical file created by copying the biography copied from the book. These editable biographies have been created to provide the space for descendants, historians, researchers, etc to add information, photographs, newspaper articles, memories, etc. they have discovered so it is available for this and future generations.
Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. Edited by Lesley Muir. Campsie, N.S.W. : Canterbury and District Historical Society, 2002