William Brown

Worcestershire Regiment
Date of death 
21 March 1918
Age of death 
Cowslip Dairy
George Lane
South Woodford
Postcode Unknown
Address source 
1911 Census
Cemetery / Memorial 

Born in 1896 at Wanstead, Son of John (Greeengrocer) and Emma Brown. 1901: With his family at Rose Cottage Wanstead. 1911: A Laundry Van Boy, with his family at Cowslip Dairy George Lane, South Woodford. The family home was later at 76 Maybank Road, South Woodford.

Having enlisted he arrived in France on 11th August 1914 with 2 Worcestershire Regiment. This date suggests he was a serving soldier, and indeed his number was allocated at the end of 1911 or the beginning of 1912. He went on to serve with 4 and finally 10 Worcestershire Regiment.

On 31st March 1918 the Battalion faced “Operation Michael” - the German Spring Offensive south of Arras.

They were roused at dawn by the thunder of the German bombardment near their billets in Barastre. At 13.00 the Battalion moved to assembly positions on the western side of Velu Wood. The 57th Brigade, assisted by tanks was to deliver a counter attack on the enemy in Doignies. Eight tanks were in position in front of the men; 8 Gloucesters stormed the village and 10 Worcesters soon entrenched in the Sunken Road. Other Battalions were not so successful and the tanks broke down. Heavy enfilade of fire from the enemy in the village caused many casualties. Col Sole later ordered the Battalion and 8 Gloucesters to fall back to trenches near the left flank.

Twice the Germans attacked but were repulsed by the Worcesters. However on the third attack they broke through and went on to capture Bapaume. William Brown was Killed in Action during this days fighting.

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian



Worcestershire World War One Hundred website