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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Brownfield, Lt Comander, Royal Navy Reserve 1915

Sandra Parker

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post-8011-1126930443.jpg Matthew James Brownfield, born Gravesend, to mariner family. To sea in sailing ships at the end of the C19th.

He was believed to have been on the steam tug Nubia, near Durham as member of crew/2nd mate in 1901 The Nubia was wrecked north of Colombo while awaiting a pilot while on voyage Bombay to Colombo and Shanghai on 20th Jun.1915, but I do not know whether he was still a crew member.

He held a temporary sub-lieutenant's commission in the Royal Naval Reserve, during the First World War in 1915, although I have no further details. What does this actually mean?

I believe he retired some time before WW2 and died in 1957.

Could anyone please tell me how to find out more about his career, the ships he served on and the rank he held.

This photo (if it works out) was taken mid 1930's

Sandra Parker


Australia :unsure:

maybe photo worked this time!

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Matthew James Brownfield was commissioned as a Temporary S/LT, RNR on 14 Dec 14.

He was assigned to STEPHEN FURNESS, a commissioned merchant vessel, on that date.

As a temporary officer, he served while the ship was commissioned. Most RNR officers were the merchant ship's officers prewar and continued in the same capacity, i.e. engineering duties, etc.

Let me know if you want a bio run for him.

All best


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Hi Don,

Thanks so much for that. He was my Uncle Matt, in fact he was the only real Uncle I ever had, actually G Uncle. I remember him quite clearly though I was only a liitle girl visiting Christmas and holidays, he had lots of stories about going to other countries and sailing ships when he was a lad. Such a pity I didn't pay more attention.

Although he married in 1906, he had no children. I would appreciate anything at all you could find out about him, so that his life is recorded somewhere.

He died in 1857 at Beusted House, Faversham, Kent. Does that have any maritime significance. Another interesting thing I did manage to find was that there was a notation of a Kent police report from Herne Bay in 1952, stating that his master's certificate had

been stolen.

I would really appreciate anything further you could find.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sub-Lieutenant Royal Naval Reserve = Lieutenant army

Royal Naval Reserve = a reserve of men for the Royal Navy drawn from the Merchant Navy and the officers records are at the NA in ADM 240.

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