Photograph of Trooper Roy William Brown

Brown Roy William

Born: 1895 Dimboola Victora.
Died: 9 January 1917 Rafa, Egypt

Parents John Brown and Elizabeth Rebecca Sturgeon
Siblings: Daisy Beatrice, John Sturgeon Wilfred, Rose Lillian, Ray, Allan, Thomas Reginald

Although born in Victoria Roy the Brown family was residing at Glenburnie when Roy enlisted on 21 August 1914.  He was 19 years 7 months of age and was employed as a farm labourer. Roy would embark with the 3rd Light Horse regiment from Adelaide on 23 October 1914 for Egypt per the A17 Port Lincoln and would proceed to Gallipoli. In March 1915 his records show that he accompanied a sick officer from Gallipoli to Alexandria who may have been Captain F M White of Millicent. Roy would return to Gallipoli in August where he would remain until December 1915 before disembarking from the Karroo  in Alexandria in December 1915.  In March 1917 he joined the Western Frontier Force and would be in and out of hospital with conjunctivitis.  Roy was killed in action at Rafa Egypt on 9 January 1917 and was buried at El Magruntain 400 yards south of the Turkish trench position the following day.  His body was exhumed and buried at the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Suez Canal, Egypt.

Following his death his parents received letters from his comrades, including the following extract from Captain White of Millicent. “… he looked after me when I was so very ill, and I will never forget him. He was with me all the time until I embarked for Australia. He was such a cheerful boy; always so full of life and nothing was a trouble to him.”  From his Captain in the regiment “I regret to inform you of the death of your son No 103 Private R W Brown which occurred at Rafa on January 9.  We had just taken up a position within 400 yards of the Turks, and your son was lying beside me when a bullet struck him in the side.  He suffered no pain but put out his hand and touched me and said, “I’m hit sir”, and expired almost immediately.  I deeply mourn his death as it is hard to hear the loss of an old comrade. I venture to state sir, that your son could not have died a more honourable death than giving his life for his country and his country’s honour.  I extend to you and yours the deepest sympathy of the officers, NCO’s and men of the squadron in your sad bereavement.”

Roy was a strong young fellow, a typical Australian of 22 years of age.

Sources:

NAA: B2455, BROWN R W
Births Deaths & Marriages, Victoria
Genealogy SA
Virtual Wall Memorial:  Trooper Roy William Brown

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