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Mount Bures Community Web Site

 

 
 




War Memorial

Arthur C Brown - Killed in action WW2

 

Summary of events leading up to the dedication of the new plaque to Arthur,

at St Johns Church, Mount Bures.

27th October 2017






The 10.30 morning service was taken by the Rev Mark Thompson from Colchester.
We were fortunate in having Mary Kemp from Normandy together with Walter and Olive Brown who travelled from Devon to be with us.
We must not forget of course, the rest of the local congregation who filled the Church for this very special occasion.

After the service John Cowlin (Church Elder) took Mary, Walter and Olive to visit Valley Green Farm, to see where Arthur once lived.
Later they enjoyed a lunch at the Thatchers, before going their seperate ways

Back in 2014, I was talking to the Chairman of the British Legion in Bures, when I discovered they had no idea about the names on Bures War Memorial.
Both the WW1 and WW2 engravings were authorised by subcommittees of the Legion, but no records were ever filed.
They admitted that over 80% of the names were a total mystery ?

I like a challenge, so I set about researching all the names, 43 for WW1 and 16 for WW2
This took several months, and I was only defeated by one name, a "P Smith" because of its popular surname

This is when I came across the name "A C Brown"
From the Ancestry web site, I determined it was RAF Sgt Arthur Charles Brown, aged 21 from Valley Green Farm and Killed in Action over Normandy in 1944
But that was about it !

The research took several months and finally I published details of all 69 names listed the War Memorial on the Bures web site

Fortunately for me, Mary Kemp in Normandy viewed the pages in 2015 and replied with information on the crash and photographs of Ellecourt Cemetery,
where the entire crew of 7 were laid to rest.
Their Lancaster Bomber was shot down on 5th July 1944, on a run to disrupt a V1 rocket site.

With this additional information, I then able to investigate their Service records where I found photographs of the Flight Crew and a detailed RAF report on the Crash
Now the information to Arthur, expanded to 4 pages on the web site

I spoke to John Cowling the Church Warden at St Johns Church here, who remembered Johns parents back in the 1950/60`s and referred me to a memorial to Arthur in this Church.

Arthur's parents commissioned a Statue which stands behind the alter, with a plaque engraved "John the Baptist" which sadly was totally meaningless, as it made no reference to Arthur.
I do wonder if the Church Diocese at that time, would not allow a personal tribute being erected in the Church.

I managed to obtain a copy of all the Church Minutes during 1959 from the Essex Record Office,
which gave me the name of the Sculptor, a Mr. Dobson who lived in Little Cornard our adjacent Parish.
His fee for the work was £60, complete with his address.

I scoured the internet to find out more about this gentleman, but I found absolutely nothing.
I contacted the Lt Cornard History Recorder, Eileen King but she could find no trace of him.

The Sculptor and plaque were erected in the Autumn of 1959

Earlier this year, Walter Wood who lives in Devon contacted me with additional information on the family.


I find it remarkable, back in 2014 nobody knew apart from John, the significance of Arthur Brown.
This has now culminated with us all here today with this new memorial in recognition of him fighting for his country

So, with it being erected in the autumn of 1959, it`s nearly exactly 60 years nearly to the day that we are commissioning this new plaque to Arthur.


Dedication and Blessing of the new plaque. John Cowlin, Church Warden to the right

 

Walter Brown, Cousin of Arthur travelled up from Devon for the service
Mary Kemp who once lived near the Ellecourt Cemetery in Normandy
Mary supplied detailed information on the cemetery, where the crew of five are remembered.
Mary Kemp : Left
Walter Brown and companion Olive.
Finally we must not forget the Rev John Chandler who retired only a week before this dedication, who was unable to attend this very emotional event.
He worked tirelessly from January until September working with the Diocese and all the associated officialdom to obtain authority to erect the plaque

Research by Alan Beales
Published 28/10/2019