Charles E Brown; a Manx Man at War

Isle of Man World war 1 History


On October 17th 1918 Charles Edward Brown was killed in action, twenty five days before the end of the war. His body was eventually buried in Carvin Communal Cemetery, six and a half miles north of Lens in northern France.

On May 7th 1919 his property was forwarded to his parents. His personal belongings consisted of photos, a pocket book, diary, wallet and cards. This is probably fairly typical of the possessions carried by a soldier of the Great War, but it is still a poignant reminder of what his life must have been like in the trenches, with long periods of inactivity punctuated by episodes of living hell. On October 20th a copy of his memorial scroll was delivered to his parents, with a slip to be returned confirming their receipt if it. It is signed by his father, with the annotation "Please excuse me for keeping this so long." Perhaps acknowledging his son's death in this way was too painful to contemplate for a grieving father.

On June 16th 1920 the family were asked to fill in a form recording Charles' living relatives. It names his parents, his brothers and sisters, and his two grandfathers, Horatio Nelson Brown and Daniel Christian. This form is signed by his mother.

 The final document of note is dated 27th June 1921. It is the official notification of Charles' burial place at Carvin in northern France. Whether any of his family ever got to visit his grave is unlikely.