Stanstead Abbotts

Local History Society

Herbert Charles BROWN

Private 15663

7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment

Killed in Action 21st March 1918 aged 31

Born in 1887 in Amwell, one of 11 and in 1901 lived at Amwell Magna Fisheries along with parents Arthur and Emily and 7 brothers and sisters, his father worked as a Fishery Keeper.   In the 1911 census he was still with his family but they were living in Cats Hill, Stanstead Abbotts and he was working locally as a domestic groom.

He joined the 7th battalion Bedfordshire Regiment part of the 90th Brigade and was posted to France.  At the beginning of 1918 there were a number of changes and the 7th became part of 54th brigade.  On March 21st 1918, the Germans began their great assault Operation Michael, they attacked in Great numbers and Herbert’s unit became involved in the 1918 Battle of the Somme for the town of St Quentin.  The unit war diary records that the action began at 4.45am.  All 4 companies of the battalion were involved as German troops broke through, A Company was heavily engaged and B Company sent to support them but could not provide sufficient numbers to turn the German troops from the trench as they had firmly established themselves.  This action went on for most of that day and into the night and it was during this action that Herbert was killed.  He was just one of 569 casualties the battalion suffered between the 21st and 31st March.

His body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the memorial at Pozieres Cemetery.

Medals Awarded: British War Medal, Victory Medal, 1915 Star