Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

It has not been possible to trace the life of John James Brown between his birth in 1874 at Cape Town, South Africa and his arrival in Portsmouth around 1900.
The earliest record of him being in Portsmouth is actually the 1911 census which records him living at 84 West Street, Southsea with his family which consisted of his wife Caroline Elizabeth whom he had married in 1899 and their three children all of whom had been born in Portsmouth. They were Lilian (b. 1902), Irene (b. 1907) and Albert (b. 1908).
At the time John James was described as 'Town Postman' but he probably left this employment to enlist on the outbreak of war in August 1914. Although nothing is currently known of his army career until his death in 1916 the fact that he died with the rank of Company Serjeant Major offers room for speculation about it. To have reached that rank he must have either been a natural leader who experienced rapid promotion or alternatively that he had formerly served with the army and had been called back to his regiment on the outbreak of war. Either way he was a member of the 14th Battalion which arrived in France in March 1916. He died six months later.
Further Information
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website lists John James Brown, Company Serjeant Major (3/5027), 14th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, date of death, 03/09/1916, aged 43. Buried at Serre Road Cemetery No. 1 (Grave ref: VIII.H.11.). Husband of Caroline Brown, of 84, West St., Southsea, Portsmouth.
John Brown is remembered on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X.
Tim Backhouse
December 2014