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  • He was a Special Reservist and served with the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters from 15 March 1915. He was killed in action on 9 May 1915 and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium.
Person Details
Surname Brownley later Brownlow. William was the son of Hiram Gough Brownley and his wife Mary (née Searcy). His father Hiram was probably born in Nottingham in 1859 (reg. Hiram Goff). His mother Mary Searcy was born in 1863, also in Nottingham. They were married at Sneinton St Stephen on 31 May 1880 (reg. Hiram Gough Brownley and Mary Searcy). According to information provided by the widowed Mary on the 1911 Census, she had had six children of whom five survived. However, seven children, all born in Nottingham, were recorded on the census between 1881 and 1901, two of whom, Thomas and Florence, died before 1911. The children's surnames vary on the birth registrations: Lucy Gough b. 1880, Thomas Brownley b. 1885 d. 1909, William Brownley b. 1899 (J/A/S), George Brownlow birth reg. 1892 (J/F/M), Margaret Brownley Gough b. 1893 and Florence Brownlow b. 1900 d. 1901. In 1881, the year after their marriage, Hiram (21) a fish hawker, Mary and their daughter Lucy (5 months) were lodgers at 14 Independent Hill, Nottingham, in the household of Harry and Fanny Radford. By 1891 Hiram, a costermonger, and Mary, a lace finisher were living in George's Square, Nottingham, with their four children Lucy, Mary (6), Thomas (5) and William (2). Hiram died in 1900 (reg. J/A/S, Brownley) and in 1901 his widow Mary was living at 6 Brook Street, with five of her children: Mary a frilling maker, Thomas a fruit and vegetable hawker, William, George (9), Margaret (7) and Florence (under 1 year) who died later that year. The eldest daughter, Lucy, had married Henry Bradshaw in 1899 (reg. O/N/D, Lucy Gough Brownlow) and they and their daughter were living on Coalpit Lane, Nottingham. The eldest son Thomas joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class in 1902, entering on a 12 year continuous service engagment on his 18th birthday, 9 May 1903. However, he was discharged (invalid - pulmonary disease) on 7 January 1909 and died later that year (reg. O/N/D) aged 24. Mary had moved to 19 Brook Street by 1911 where she was living with three of her five surviving children, William a fish and fruit hawker (own account), George a news vendor (own account) and Margaret (16) a cigar maker apprentice. Her daughter Mary had married Thomas Goddard, a fruit hawker, in 1902 and they were living with their three children in Sneinton. William's mother died on 13 July 1926 at 19 Brook Street, Sneinton. William married Emily Carter (b. 1894) in 1913 (A/M/J); there were no children of the marriage. They lived at 15 Watt Street, Nottingham. Emily married secondly Harry Boyington in 1916 (J/A/S). They lived in Beeston Rylands, Nottingham, and were still living in Beeston Rylands in 1939 when the England and Wales Register was compiled. William's brother George married Mary Ann Wyles at Nottingham Register Office on 26 August 1912 and they had a daughter, Maggie, later that year.; they lived at 4 Middle Street, Nottingham. He attested in the Army Reserve (Special Reservists) on 1 September 1914 at the age of 22 years 243 days, giving his occupation as hawker. He was posted to the Sherwood Foresters (6495) on 21 September 1914 but discharged on 7 November 1914 as 'not likely to become an efficient soldier' (medical - tubercle of lung). However, George then attested in the Territorial Force (4 years service UK) on 30 January 1915 and was posted to the 7th (Reserve) Bn Sherwood Foresters (3746). He was discharged medically unfit, 'phthisis' (tuberculosis), on 6 June 1916. The medical report noted, 'declines Sanatorium treatment ... permanent ... future uncertain.' He was discharged to 6 Kingston Terrace, off Beaumont Street, Sneinton, and died the following year (1917, AMJ) aged 25.
In 1911 he was a fish and fruit hawker (own account)
09 May 1915
875095 - CWGC Website
St George parish, Nottingham. Enlisted Nottingham
Lance Corporal
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Lance Corporal William Brownlow, served with the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). William was killed in action on 9 May 1915. He was initially reported wounded or missing and his death was not confirmed until later that year. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium (Panel 7). He qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
CWGC: 'Son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Brownlow, of Sneinton, Nottingham; husband of Emily Boyington (formerly Brownlow), of Beeston Rylands, Beeston, Notts.' Birth registered 1889 (J/A/S). Age at death given as 26 (CWGC) and 25 (NEP notice) British Red Cross & Order of St John Enquiry List Wounded & Missing 1914-1919: 2642 L/Cpl Brownlow, M/W 9 May 1915, date of enquiry 17 July 1915. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 6 September 1915: ‘Brownlow. Killed in action, May 9th, William (lance-corpl.) the dearly beloved husband of Emily Brownlow, of 15, Watt-street, aged 25 years (sic). Beloved in life, lamented in death.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchjive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 17 September 1915, photograph with caption: ‘Lance-Corpl. W Brownlow, 1st Sherwood Forester, 15 Watt Street, Nottm., bomb thrower, killed in action Aug. 25th.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 'In memoriam', 9 May 1916:- “BROWNLOW. – In loving memory of Lance-Corpl. William, killed in action May 9th, 1915. Never a morning dawns, never a night returns, but what I think of you. – From loving wife, Emily.” Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 9 May 1917: ‘Brownlow. In loving memory of Lance-Corporal William Brownlow, who sacrificed himself in the great cause May 9th 1915. Gone but not forgotten. Wife Emily.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk Registers of Soldiers' Effects: widow Emily was his sole legatee. Payments were made in February 1916 (Brownlow) and August 1919 (Boyington) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 13 July 1926: ‘Brownley (sic). On 13th, at 19 Brook-street, Mary Brownley, beloved mother of Mary and Margaret. The Lord giveth his beloved sleep.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • He was a Special Reservist and served with the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters from 15 March 1915. He was killed in action on 9 May 1915 and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium.
    William Brownlow - He was a Special Reservist and served with the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters from 15 March 1915. He was killed in action on 9 May 1915 and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium.
  • Commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)
    William Brownlow - Commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)