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  • Taken from Caius College, Cambridge ROH
Person Details
11 Sep 1892
Basford Nottingham
Douglas Brownsword was born at 5, Magdala Road, Nottingham the son of Henry Anderson Brownsword who was a lace manufacturer. In 1886, Henry married Mabel Parr. Douglas had two sisters - Daphne Marguerite and Norah Mabel. In 1901, the family lived at 15, Lenton Road, Nottingham. By 1911, they had moved to Rollesby Hall, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. His father was listed on that year’s census as a leather manufacturer. Douglas Brownsword’s effects of £6173 14/7d were left to his father and Arthur Brownsword (Probate 11/10/1918)
Douglas Brownsword attended Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge from 1909. Whilst at University he played hockey and tennis and was a member of the OTC. Upon graduating, he joined the family lace manufacturing business.
25 Dec 1917
439075 - CWGC Website
Rollesby Hall Rollesby Norfolk
Army Service Corps
Douglas Brownsword was appointed Second Lieutenant (late cadet, Gresham School Contingent, Junior Division Officers Training Corps) on 7th October 1914 (London Gazette 3rd November 1914). He joined the 59th Divisional Train, ASC and was appointed temporary Lieutenant on 6th March 1915 (London Gazette 24th March 1915) and then temporary captain. He went to Ireland with 59th Division at the time of the Easter Uprising in 1916. Brownsword was appointed lieutenant with precedence as from 1st June 1916 and to retain temporary rank of captain 1st July 1917 (London Gazette 22nd October 1917). He went to France in September 1917 and joined 8th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps on attachment 6th October 1917. He was hit by machine gun fire in the back and succumbed to his wounds shortly afterwards (25th December 1917). He was buried in Oxford Road Cemetery, Belgium Grave Reference: V F 18
The Caius College ROH makes mention of a letter held at The Imperial War Museum outlining the circumstances of his death: 'I thought it was going to be quite decent on Xmas Day, but unfortunately a sad thing occurred: about 1 a.m. Captain Brownsword came round visiting. He bent down to drop in on my post. I said, 'Hurry up, get down quick!' but unfortunately he was not quick enough; there was a crack & I knew he was hit in the back, & he just toppled down and I caught him with my arms. Then the difficulty, imagine it, of looking after a man 6 foot 3, in a bit of trench half the width of your kitchen, and no longer; partly filled too with a fire step. I had to sit on the step, and hold him across my knees, while the stretcher bearer dressed him. Our stretcher was broken, & with difficulty we got another, one bearer being shot through the head bringing it' Extracts of letters from Department of Documents PP/MCR/333 The 8th KRRC War Diary for 6th October 1917 ZEVECOTEN (bivouacs at 28 M5 d5.2) " .... The following officers joined the Bn from the A.S.C. Capt. D.A. Brownsword, Lt. A.J. Bell, Lt. G.A. Bainett [unclear], 2/Lt. L.C. Butler" Two further officers joined from the ASC the following day. The 8th KRRC War Diary for 25th December 1917 states: 'Capt Brownsword hit by MG fire while [?] for visiting posts at 1 am, carried down at daybreak under red cross flag, he died before reaching dressing station...' They were in the line near Goudberg Copse with Battalion HQ at Virile Farm. Probate granted to his father and Arthur Brownsword 11th October 1918. Estate £6173 14s 7d.
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  • Taken from Caius College, Cambridge ROH
    Second Lieutenant Douglas Anderson Brownsword - Taken from Caius College, Cambridge ROH