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Remembered Today:

Bdr Thomas Harold Brown 58543, X9 TMB, RFA , MM (1918) 

Ivor Anderson

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Bdr. Thomas Harold Brown, 58543, X9 Trench Mortar Battery, RFA, Military Medal 1918  


MM in London Gazette 30768, 27/06/1918 - The schedule number for the medal (168927) falls within the number range of 168,084 through to 169,776, which cover the period of the March offensive from March 23rd March - 1st April 1918. According to the LG entry he lived in West Bromwich when he joined up.


The MM medal index card for the award of the MM tells us that Bdr Brown was attached to X9 Trench Mortar Battery at the time of the award. X9 TM By was part of the 9th (Scottish) Division, which on the dates mentioned above were involved in the Battle of St Quentin (21/03/18) and the Battle of Bapaume (24/03/18). It's more than likely that the MM was awarded for one of these actions (possibly 24th March). Trench Mortar Batteries were positioned in front line trenches and their very presence made them unpopular with the infantry, no doubt due to the fact that once German guns could determine where the mortars were coming from, a heavy retaliatory bombardment would soon follow.


The naming his MM reads: 58543 BMBR T.H. BROWN R.F.A. His MIC says he landed in France 5th September 1915. NO service record found?


1891 Census: Thomas age 4, born, Salop, Knowle, Tenbury (Wells). Parents William Edward Brown & Caroline (Ward) married Tenbury Q2 1884 (6c 351).

1901 Census: 7 Railway Terrace, West Bromwich. Thomas a ‘stable helper/groom age 14.

1911 Census: 17 Oak Road, West Bromwich, age 24, occ. Carter, born Tenbury, married 2 years. Parents: William Edward Brown (52) labourer and Caroline (52), married 25 years. Going by the birth places of the siblings the family moved from Tenbury to West Bromwich c.1894.


1939 Census - states Thomas was born on the 26 February 1887. His wife Elizabeth was born on 26 August 1889. He was a labourer (seamless steel) still living in West Bromwich.

Died: He appears to have died in West Bromwich in Q1 1945 aged 58 (6b 962).




Edited by Ivor Anderson
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1914-15 Star on Ancestry confirming full name as Thomas Harold Brown, and his date of entry to France:



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9th TMB War Diary for the end of March 1918. Entries for the 21 & 24 March show possible 9th TMB engagements that led to his MM award.

Note that on the 24th March a 'party of 5 officers and 80 OR were sent to man the trenches at MAUREPAS'.

Source: National Archives WO-95-1753-4_2


March 1918.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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The 51st Brigade RFA (part of 9th Division) war diary for 24 March 1918 records the need to retreat due to the German offensive.

They covered the retreat by giving harassing firing around MAUREPAS, which is where 85 of the 9th TMB had been sent to 'man the trenches' (see entry in post just above). I suspect that this is the date and action for which Thomas Brown was awarded his MM.

24 March 1918.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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  • 1 year later...

There is a long list of awards in the 9th Div. A&QMG war diary of 17th April 1918. Thomas is listed among 4 pages of MMs for the Spring Offensive:

Screen Shot 2021-10-19 at 09.45.39.png

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some notes on near numbers appearing in that 14/15 Roll with same landing dates 5/9/15:


58452 Edward Holloway. Attested 31/12/14 Joined No3 Depot RFA Hilsea.Then 13 Res Bty . Embarked with 99th Bde RFA Soton 4/9/15, landed Le Havre 5/9/15. Embarked for MEF Marseilles 19/11/15 landed Salonika 30/11/15 sill with D/99 Bde. Posted to B/101 Bde 20/7/16-(this was a reorg where D/99 became B/101) (99 and 101 part of 22nd Division)

58543 Brown  ............

58544 Roberts was B/99 in 1917

58548 Govier was B/101 Bde RFA in Aug 1916 (per Hosp Admissions)

58549 Adams. Attested 31/12/14, joined Hilsea posted No3 Depot 31/12/14, Posted 13 Res Bty 4/1/15. posted D/99 Bde 14/1/15. To France 4/9/15, To MEF 19/11/15. Posted B/101 20/7/16


So I suggest Brown started off the same way, and went to Salonika with 22 Division. At what point did he transfer to 9th Scottish Division? perhaps promotion, sickness or wounding ?


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Thanks Charlie.

So it's looking likely that he enlisted 31/12/14, landed Le Havre on 5/9/15 and went to Salonika in November 1915 with 22nd Division.



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