We recently published the biography of Frederick Louis Brown as the most likely candidate for the F L Brown on the Rugby Memorial Gates. We have now discovered that the man listed should be Frank Lincoln Brown, who was born and lived in Rugby.
Frank Lincoln Brown was born in Rugby in 1894, the youngest son of Edward, and Sarah Emily (nee Barge). Edward was an assurance agent born in Priors Marston and Sarah was from Wales. They married in Rugby in 1889.
In 1891 they lived at 2 Princess Street and in 1901, when Frank was aged 6, at 3 Newbold Road.
By 1911 Frank was aged 16 he was working as a machinist in a meter factory. The family lived at 33 Stephen Street, Rugby.
Towards the start of the war, Frank Lincoln Brown enlisted at Rugby and joined the 5th Bn. Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry (No. 10444)
He served in France and Flanders from the 20th May 1915. On the 3rd May 1917 the 14th Division, which contained the 5th Ox & Bucks, formed the left flank of the great British offensive at Vis-En-Artois. The attack took place over a twelve-mile front east of Arras with the Ox & Bucks attacking the enemy position at Hillside Work.
The attack commenced at 3.45am in the face of very heavy machine gun and rifle fire. The 5th Ox & Bucks were temporarily held up by an undiscovered enemy trench, which although they were eventually able to capture, they did so with heavy casualties. This obliged them to cease any further advance. At 11am the Germans launched determined counter attack ultimately driving the British back to their original positions.
The action cost the Ox & Bucks 19 men killed, 113 missing and 153 wounded.
Frank was killed in this action, almost two years after arriving in the trenches, on the 3rd May 1917, aged 23, he has no known grave and is today remembered on the Arras Memorial.
There was an announcement in the June 1917 issue of The Pioneer, the Baptist Church magazine that he had been missing for nearly a month. Frank Brown is listed on the Memorial Plaque in Rugby Baptist Church, which reads:
This tablet and the organ in the Church are erected to the memory of those members of this Church who laid down their lives in the Great War 1914 – 1918, whose names are given herewith also as an act of thanksgiving for the safe return of the many others from this Church who served in the war.
On waters deep in the treacherous
On rock bound heights and burning
They poured the offering of their blood
They kept the honour of the land.
Corporal Frank Lincoln Brown was entitled to the 1914/15 Star, BWM and the Victory Medal.
Sarah Emily Brown died in 1921, she was joined by her husband Edward in 1935.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM
With thanks to Kevin Pargeter, who brought this man to our notice and provided the information.