Topic: James Brown

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James Brown (Service no. 21559) was a First World War soldier with links to Woolston.

James Brown was born on the 3rd September 1884 at Lakeside, Leeston Canterbury, to Margaret (nee Galbraith) and James Brown senior, both of whom where Irish Immigrants. James had two sisters Agnes (1886) and Margaret Jane (1888).  His father owned a farm at Lakeside which he worked until his death in 1893. In 1895 James's mother married William Alfred Sheldon an English immigrant originally from Derbyshire. William and Margaret went on to have two boys of their own James Jay (1898) and Henry Hamilton Loughan (1901) and continued to farm at Lakeside for a short period of time but eventually moved into Christchurch and took up residence in Matson Street Sydenham.  James grew to be a fresh faced young man with brown hair and eyes standing 5' 9 ½" tall and weighing 11 stone 13oz.

On the 4th March 1905 James married Daisy Young Jacobs and together they had three children Rita (12-3-1905), James Albert (21-7-1906) and Daisy Ethel (9-9-1908). James worked as a Striker (Blacksmiths assistant) for Cooper & Duncan Christchurch (makers of agricultural implements) and the family lived at 20 Randolph Street Woolston until 1914 approx. when they moved to 74 Hazeldean Road Sydenham with James's mother and step-father. By the time James enlisted on 3rd May 1916 he and Daisy where living at different addresses, Daisy at 212 Olliviers Road Linwood and James at 111 Kilmore Street.

James officially took the Oath at Trentham on the 4th May 1916 and was assigned to C Company of the 16th Reinforcements NZ Expeditionary Force. On the 20 August 1916 the 16th Reinforcements NZ Expeditionary Force and 7th Reinforcements to 3rd & 4th Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade departed New Zealand on the Mokoia ( HMNZT 62)  in a convoy with the Navua (HMNZT 63) under command of Captain Haselden.  On arriving in England on 25th October they were marched to Sling camp before leaving for France on 15th November 1916.  Once in France he was sent to the base depot at Etaples, near Boulogue and on 2nd of December he joined the Canterbury Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, in the field.  He was appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal on the 25th May 1917 but was killed in action less than 2 weeks later on 7th June 1917, at the age of 32 yrs 8 mths, during the battle for Messines ridge.

He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal which were sent to his wife, Daisy Brown, along with the commemorative scroll and plaque.

Lance Corporal James Brown is remembered at the Messines Ridge (New Zealand) Memorial, Messines Ridge British Cemetery, Belgium, The Lakeside Soldiers Memorial Hall and the Woolston war memorial.



Ancestry Library edition: New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981

Papers Past

Christchurch City Library  -   Church Register Cards  

Births, Deaths and Marriages NZ: Family History Records

The New Zealand Division 1916 - 1919: A Popular History Based on Official Records

James Brown's military personnel file in Archives New Zealand (Archway)

Online cenotaph record for James Brown - Auckland War Memorial Museum

Flotilla Australia: Australian, New Zealand & Other Shipping Lines

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James Brown

First Names:James
Last Name:Brown
Place of Birth:Lakeside, Ellesmere, Canterbury