Private George Henry Brown (Willis)

Rank or Title

Date of Birth


Date of Death

9 Sep 1915

War time / or Pre War occupation



Family business

Service Number


Place of Birth

United Kingdom

World War I Address

16 St Ann's Road
United Kingdom

Place of Death


Grave Location

Cairo War Memorial Cemetery

War Memorial Location

Soldier or Civilian

  • Soldier


The Luton Reporter , 27th September 1915
Pte George Henry Brown


Pte George Henry Brown (Willis), 4350, 1/5th Bedfords, died on September 9th, 1915, from wounds sustained at Gallipoli. He was buried at Cairo War Memorial Cemetery.

The Luton Reporter said in an article on September 27th, 1915, that after some weeks of anxiety, the mother of Pte George Henry Brown, 4485, of 16 St Ann's Road, Luton, has been acquainted that her son lies buried in a Cairo cemetery.

Pte Brown, who was 25 years of age and worked with his father as a plumber before enlisting in the 5th Bedfordshires in August of last year, was another of the old scholars of Queen Square School who have given their lives in the service of their country, He was also known to many in St Mary's parish as a former scholar of the Parish Church Sunday School.

The first his mother heard of him after the 1/5th Bedfordshires underwent their baptism of fire was an official notification that he had been wounded and was in hospital at Alexandria, and the next was a postcard from him saying that he had been admitted to hospital but was quite well and hoped to be discharged soon. The date of the postcard was August 19th, and she heard no more until the arrival of another official notification, dated September 14th, stating that her son had been admitted to a hospital at Cairo on on August 23rd, suffering from a severe shrapnel wound in the right knee.

This was followed by yet another official notification that her son died of wounds on September 9th, and this news was confirmed last week by the receipt of a letter from the Matron of the hospital at Cairo in which her son died.

Writing under date September 10th, the Matron said: "I am afraid you will already have heard the sad news of your son's death in this hospital last night, at 11.25. He was very weak and ill when admitted on the 2nd, being brought in on a stretcher from a hospital train. He had a bullet wound in the knee, which was septic. He was also suffering from pneumonia. The doctors did all in their power for him, and we quite hoped he would do well, but he seemed to be too weak to fight against the sepsis.

"He died very quietly and peacefully, and was buried on the 10th in a pretty cemetery near here. Please accept my sincerest sympathy in out great sorrow."

The Rev Edward J. Powell, the Church of England Chaplain of the hospital has also written. "You will already have heard of the death of Pte G. H. Brown, 1/5th Beds, which occurred in this hospital on September 9th, and whilst wishing to assure you of my deepest sympathy in your sad bereavement, I thought it might be of some comfort to you to know of his last resting place. I buties him on Friday evening [10th] in the old Cairo British Cemetery, a beautiful spot with trees and flowers, not unlike an English country churchyard, far from the noise and dust of the city, with all the simple dignity of a soldier's funeral.

"You may be assured that during his illness he received every care and attention which loving and kind hands could give. Again expressing my sincere sympathy with you in your great loss."

A story about Pte Brown had also been carried in the Luton News on September 23rd saying his mother had written to the War Office as the notification from them bore Pte Brown's wrong service number. Both newspaper reports gave his number as 4485 rather than 4350, and the letter telling of his admission to hospital in Cairo on August 23rd was dated September 14th - five days after he had died.

The 1911 Census returns records Luton-born George Brown as a 22-year-old "nephew" living at 16 St Ann's Road with Alfred and "Louise" Willis. The 1901 Census lists Luton-born George as the 12-year-old son of Alfred and Louisa with the surname Willis, at 16 St Ann's Road. One report in the Luton Reporter gave his name as George Henry Brown Willis. He is included on the Luton Roll of Honour as George Henry Brown, of 16 St Ann's Road, Luton.


Individual Location

Pte George Henry Brown

Author: Deejaya

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