2nd Lieutenant Alexander Brown

Biography of 2nd Lieutenant Alexander Brown

Alexander Brown was the third son of the Reverend James Brown, Minister of St. George's and St Peter's Free Church, Glasgow, and Helen McGregor Brown. He was born on 17th December 1883 in the Manse at 8 Bute Gardens, Hillhead, Glasgow.

The University of Glasgow Library now stands on the site of the old Manse. Alexander was educated at Glasgow Academy and the University of Glasgow. He graduated MA in 1903 and LLB in November 1908, having done well in the class of Civil Law.

After completing his legal training in the office of the Glasgow law firm, Messrs Cowan, Clapperton and Barclay, he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1908. A keen Liberal, he threw himself into his political work. He showed great aptitude as a platform speaker and, during the two general elections of 1910, he was to be found almost every night, expounding the principles of his party to large audiences.

He took part in the work of party organisation and acted for a time as treasurer of the Scottish Reform Club. He was also engaged in reporting cases for the Scots Law Times and was greatly appreciated for the quality and efficiency of his work.

Alexander Brown received a commission in the summer of 1915 and served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 16th Bn. Royal Scots, posted to France the following year. Shortly after arriving there his battalion took part in the great offensive on the Somme. After sustaining heavy losses it was removed to a quieter part of the line, but was sent back into the thick of the action again a few months later. During the fighting on 28th April 1917, Lieutenant Brown was leading a bombing party. He was wounded in the wrist, but carried on fighting, pulling the pins out of the bombs with his teeth, until he was shot through the head by a sniper. One of his commanding officers wrote:

"He nobly bore his part in the various campaigns with great courage and cheerfulness. He was one of the most conscientious men whom it has been my privilege to meet. When given any duty to discharge, you had a sure confidence it would be faithfully done. The men felt they could rely on him absolutely, and he instilled great confidence into them. His labours were unremitting, and they much appreciated what he did for their comfort."

Lieutenant Alexander Brown, killed in action on the 28th April 1917, was mourned as a man of great personal charm, a delightful companion and a man with many friends. He is commemorated at Arras Memorial in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras, Pas de Calais, France.

 

Summary

2nd Lieutenant Alexander Brown
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: 16th Bn. Royal Scots
Degree: MA LLB
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action, 28 April 1917.
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/28

Sources

Biography: Biography contributed by the family from The Scots Law Times, Obituary, 26th May 1917.

University of Glasgow Faculty, General Council and Registry records.

Memorial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Find War Dead

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