Sergeant Samuel George Brown


Samuel George Brown was born on 15 May 1890 at Ballyloughan, Magherafelt, County Londonderry, the first of four children of blacksmith Robert George Brown and his wife Sarah (nee Mullan). By 1911 he was living with his parents and surviving sibling at 60 Oldtown Street, Cookstown, County Tyrone, and working as a blacksmith.

Brown enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 17 January and 24 February 1911 (No.583). Soon after he was promoted to the rank of shoeing smith. On 20 August 1914 he embarked for France with C Squadron, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

Brown was mentioned in a letter sent home by another Cookstown North Irish Horseman, published in the Mid-Ulster Mail on 19 December 1914:

In a letter received last week from Trooper Wesley McClelland at the front, by his relatives in Cookstown, he says that some of the parcels sent to him had arrived, but at least one had mis-carried. He goes on to say that Sam Brown was with him, but had gone away again to rejoin his own squadron.

At the beginning of 1916 Brown was a signatory to a letter to the Mid-Ulster Mail seeking a correction to reports that C Squadron was not often in the firing line:

Dear Sir, – We would respectfully draw your attention to a statement which appeared in a recent issue of your paper, just come to hand, namely, that Troopers S. Espie and G. Henry were home on leave from the Squadron of North Irish Horse (A) acting as bodyguard to Sir John French at General Headquarters.

The above-mentioned are corporals and belong to C Squadron, which as been acting as Divisional Cavalry since coming to France on August 22nd, 1914, with the exception of a few months last winter, when the squadron was broke up to work with different Corps Headquarters. Owing to absence of real cavalry work, the chief work of the Squadron has been in the nature of pioneer work, viz., trench digging, barb-wiring, and sand-bagging redoubts, etc., and on several occasions the wiring has been done outside the front line parapets, not fifty yards from the German trenches; also carrying wounded from trenches to advanced dressing stations; escorting German prisoners to nearest rail-head from reserve line, and taking their turn in the trenches as infantry when required. In fact this Squadron has not been out of the firing line (proper) since they came out, and a good many of our comrades out here have rather resented the statement, that has so often erroneously appeared in your valuable paper, that the Squadron was on Headquarters work.

Esteeming the favour of a correction at an early date, with best wishes to the good old Mail for the New Year. We remain

Yours faithfully,
R. Averall, 485; H. Bradley, 978; Corporal S. Brown, 583.
No. 1 Troop, C Squadron, N.I.H.,
3rd Division Cavalry, B.E.F.
1st January, 1916.

Brown was later promoted to sergeant.

At the end of July 1918 he was compulsorily transferred to the Royal Engineers (No.361920), retaining his sergeant's rank.