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William Roche Brown

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Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    William Roche AWMM
  • Surname
    Brown AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    13769 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    24 April 1917 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM 60 Courtenay Street, St Albans, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs E. Brown (mother), 60 Courtenay Street, St Albans, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Single AWMM

Service

Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Western Desert AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    13769 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Military Medal (MM) AWMM
    • Military Medal (MM) AWMM
      22 July 1943 AWMM
      'On the morning of 27 March 1943 during the attack on EL HAMMA, Tunisia, two carriers from the troop of which Sergeant Brown was Troop Sergeant, came under heavy machine-gun and mortar fire. This happened in a wadi and because of the damage inflicted both vehicles had to be abandoned. Later that day Sergeant Brown led a small party back to the vehicles to try to recover them and in spite of constant enemy fire he succeeded in returning both of them to the Squadron fit for use. On 6 April at Gabes Gap he and his troop were ordered to locate an alternative route across the anti-tank ditch over which the Division was to pass. After crossing the ditch successfully the troop came under heavy artillery and mortar fire but in spite of this Sergeant Brown went forward in a vehicle, carried out his mission and returned with valuable information. His coolness under fire and undaunted courage were an inspiration to his men.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Brown, William Roche. (Ref. WO 373/25/455). Military Medal. AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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Embarkations

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Died of wounds, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of John Reuel and Elizabeth Brown, of Christchurch.

    Sergeant W. R. Brown, MM; born NZ 24 Apr 1917; fireman, NZR; died of wounds 21 Dec 1943. (Source: Loughnan, R.J.M. Divisional Cavalry. p.273.)

    'Getting across in daylight from the start line to the first bound, the back of Point 201, was not just a morning joyride, because the track leading there ran over a low crest and down a few hundred yards of gently sloping flat which was still under observed fire from the enemy's guns, so it was necessary to run the gauntlet over this, troop by troop, with uneven intervals between each vehicle. One carrier hit something hard and broke a track-pin just at the critical moment and, since the carrier was at full speed, it cast the track and pulled up all standing. The next carrier came roaring into view, then pulled up alongside. Without a word everybody but the two drivers baled out, and with the strength of desperation picked up the broken track weighing many hundredweight, and appeared almost to throw it back on its bogeys. In point of fact they laid it out in front of the carrier, whose driver, by locking the steering mechanism on the trackless side and driving slowly forward, forced the machine along on its other track as his helpers fed the track back over its bogeys and drove in a new track-pin. Not a shot was fired at them. Perhaps the enemy was too busy admiring the feats of strength and skill; anyhow, the track-mending competitions designed against such emergencies, which had featured in many regimental sports meetings, had once again proved their worth. Indeed, some days later Sergeant W. R. Brown was awarded the MM for doing such recovery work under fire.' (Source: Loughnan, R.J.M. Divisional Cavalry. p. 273.) AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    21 December 1943 AWMM
    Age 26 AWMM
    ItalyEurope AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Sangro River War Cemetery, Italy AWMM XVI.A.12. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
    • Loughnan, R. (1963). Divisional Cavalry. Wellington, Dept. of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. Digital copy.
      http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-WH2DiCa.html
      Sources Used
    • 'The KING has been pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East.' (London Gazette, 22 July 1943, p.3315.). Military Medal.
      http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36102/pages/3315
      Further Reference
    • 'On the morning of 27 March 1943 during the attack on EL HAMMA, Tunisia, two carriers from the troop of which Sergeant Brown was Troop Sergeant, came under heavy machine-gun and mortar fire. This happened in a wadi and because of the damage inflicted both vehicles had to be abandoned. Later that day Sergeant Brown led a small party back to the vehicles to try to recover them and in spite of constant enemy fire he succeeded in returning both of them to the Squadron fit for use. On 6 April at Gabes Gap he and his troop were ordered to locate an alternative route across the anti-tank ditch over which the Division was to pass. After crossing the ditch successfully the troop came under heavy artillery and mortar fire but in spite of this Sergeant Brown went forward in a vehicle, carried out his mission and returned with valuable information. His coolness under fire and undaunted courage were an inspiration to his men.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Brown, William Roche. (Ref. WO 373/25/455). Military Medal.
      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7361674
      Further Reference
    • Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
      https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/2377433
      Sources Used
  • Documents
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 3: WW2 59 AWMM
    • Loughnan, R. (1963). Divisional Cavalry. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.273. AWMM
    • Loughnan, R. (1963). Divisional Cavalry. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
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