Canadian Medals (except Gallantry Medals) > WW1 Memorial Cross to an Officer in the 102nd (North British Columbia) Battalion, KIA Bourlon Wood
WW1 Memorial Cross to an Officer in the 102nd (North British Columbia) Battalion, KIA  Bourlon Wood

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Prod. Code: 3473

 
WW1 Memorial Cross to an Officer in the 102nd Battalion
 
 
The Memorial Cross itself is maker marked Sterling on reverse lower section, with small makers mark to the right.
 
The Cross includes a single page of research, and is impressed : "Lieut. J. Brown" His full service file is available on line for free at LAC. He is the only Lieut. J. Brown which fits.
 
Lieut John Ranby Brown was serving with the 102nd C.E.F. ( Originally 102nd Battalion Northern British Columbia, then 102nd Battalion Central Ontario) when he was tragically Killed in Action September 27th, 1918 at age 38. He was buried at the Bourlon Wood Cemetery, near the village of Bourlon, west of Cambrai. He is listed in the C.E.F. Roll of Honour on page 90.
 
BROWN, Lieutenant John Ranby.   Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Enlisted: (Canadian over-seas Expeditionary Force) 11/03/1916, Ladysmith, Canada.
Age given: 36 years. (Born Harleston Suffolk 14/02/1880).
Occupation: Farmer.
Address / Next Of Kin, family details: RR #2 Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada.
Husband of Azeela Ellen Brown, father to 2 girls Diamond and Patricia. Although a resident of Ladysmith Azeela’s address on John’s enlistment is recorded as being Rose Cottage, Purton. Son of Edward Cyril and Isabel Brown, The Cottage, Church end Purton.
Extracts from: Service record (Canadian).
On enlistment declared previous Service in the Yeomanry in the rank of  Corporal.
707120         103rd Battalion CEF.
23/07/1916  Embarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia for England.
31/07/1916  Arrived in Liverpool onboard the SS Olympic.
09/01/1917  Transferred to 16th Canadian Reserve Battalion.
12/04/1917 The Canadians take Vimy Ridge.
03/05/1917  Transferred for overseas Service with 102nd Battalion, 4th Canadian Division.
04/05/1917  to 05/05/1917 Canadian Base Detail (CBD).
09/05/1917  Joined unit in the field, part of a 16 man draft from Seaford.
11/05/1917  Wounded in action, gunshot wound (GSW), left buttock, admitted 11th Canadian Field Ambulance. The Battalion was in support lines, heavy shelling and numerous casualties were recorded in the Battalion War diary. 
From the Battalion history: On May 6 (1917) we moved back still further to Canada Camp (to the West of Elvedinghe), 
there remaining until the evening of the 10th, when the Battalion fell in and marched off to relieve the 47th Bn in support on the Vimy-Angres line with Headquarters in a commodious concrete dug-out in the railway embankment. One platoon per company was detailed to report to the 50th Battalion in the front line trenches which had been hastily constructed and were both shallow and exposed with the result that casualties were heavy. On the following night we relieved the 50th, a difficult operation as owing to some misunderstanding we had to find our own positions.
12/05/1917  to 16/05/1917 Admitted 6th Casualty Clearing Station.   
03/07/1917  Azeela recorded as living in Purton with John’s parents.
30/01/1918  To England for Commission.
14/02/1918  Command Canadian Pioneer school, Seaford.
04/03/1918  Canadian Pioneer school, Command school of musketry Shorncliff.
06/04/1918  1st Canadian Reserve Battalion, Command CTS Bexhill pending Commission.
05/06/1918  Transferred to 8th Canadian Reserve Battalion on appointment of Commission. 
06/06/1918  Witby, posted to 102nd Battalion as temporary Lieut, France. Azeela shown as living at 37 Collingham Place SW5.
23/08/1918  Arrived in France. 
25/09/1918  The Battalion was in the Bullecourt area. 
26/09/1918  The Battalion Diary records that they moved of to the assembly point prior to the most glorious Operation in its history, the capture of Bourlon Wood. The Battalion was in the Hindenburg support line; from there they advanced to the assembly point at  Inchey-En-Artois. Zero Hour at 05:20 passed followed by an advance at 06:00 Hrs. Casualty returns reported 8 Officers and 44 other ranks killed, 8 Officers and 151 other ranks wounded. The Diary recorded that the day had been a “great success” with 157 Germans captured along with 15 guns and 18 machine guns.   
Death / Burial / Memorial details.
Killed in action aged 38 on the 27th September 1918. Canadian archives record "Killed in action. At about 7pm on Saturday the 27th September 1918 when advancing his platoon along the South edge of Bourlon wood, this Officer was struck in the right side by fragments from an enemy shell and killed".  John is buried in BOURLON WOOD CEMETERY, Grave Ref: I. A. 17. (Pas De Calais, France). Headstone inscription reads “PEACE PERFECT PEACE”. Canadian archives records the Cemetery at 57c.E.12.d.8.5. 
Evidence for inclusion on the Purton Parish list: Purton War Memorial (Recorded as J.R.BROWN), Memorial Board in St Mary’s Church, name listed in the Memorial book in St Mary’s Church.