Roll of Honour
John Brown was born in 1893 in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, son of Joseph Black, a Blacksmith. He studied at Kilmarnock Academy from 1906-1911 when he was apprenticed with the Kilmarnock Law firm Messrs Hugh Barnett & Co. He moved on to Messrs McCallum & Fleming in Glasgow, and he matriculated to study Scots Law at the University of Glasgow in the session 1913/14. After this he continued to pursue legal studies outside the University of Glasgow, and in March 1915 came third in the final law examination in Edinburgh.
He enlisted immediately after his exams and was sent to France in October 1915. He was posted missing presumed dead on 15 July 1916, aged 23, while acting as a bomber in the attacks on High Wood, a key German defensive position during the Battle of the Somme. It is likely that he was part of the attack on the switch line at 09.00 which was repulsed by machine gun fire. Private John Brown died on the same day as William Wilson Paterson, who would have fought alongside him. His name is recorded on the Memorial at Thiepval, and the Glasgow Highlanders have their own memorial in High Wood itself. In addition he is remembered on the Kilmarnock Academy Memorial, and in their book of remembrance. At the time of his death, both parents were dead, and his sister Jean is listed as his next of kin.