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William Stanley Brown was the youngest of three children born to John Brown, a Joiner and Carpenter, and his wife Sarah Ann (nee Wilcock). In 1891, the family were living at Grisedale Bridge in Patterdale. We believe William’s father John was the son of David Brown and Ann Pattinson, who had 9 children, many of whom lived in the Dale, meaning William is likely to have attended Patterdale School alongside many of his cousins, including Frank Brown, David Brown and Robert Brown.
By 1901 the family had moved to Laburnum Cottage in Glenridding and William’s older brother Leonard (15) was already working as an apprentice joiner to his father. The family had moved back to Grisedale Bridge by the time the 1911 census was taken and William was also working as a Joiner in the family business. By this time his sister Ada (born 1888) had moved to Manchester where she was training to be a nurse. On the 9th December 1915, at the Wesleyan Chapel in Patterdale, William married Mary Elizabeth Pears, the daughter of Robert Pears of Crookabeck Farm. When he married, William stated his occupation as a Joiner and a Private in the 3rd Bn. of the Durham Light Infantry and his address was in South Shields.
There is a degree of uncertainty as far as his military service is concerned, we know he had enlisted before December 1915 into the 3rd Bn. of the DLI -
After the war William and Mary Elizabeth stayed in Glenridding, living initially at Rookings in Patterdale. The Kellys Directories, show that his father John was still operating a Joinery business from his home at Ullswater View but by 1925 the name had changed to Leonard Brown and Co. (Builders) at Brookfield and was still trading under that name in 1938. However it is a mystery as to exactly what happened to William’s brother Leonard as he does not appear on any of the electoral rolls from the Parish from 1920 to 1939, so it is possible he died.
William’s mother Sarah Ann died in early 1930, at the age of 75 and was buried at Patterdale on 6th January. At this point it looks as though William and Mary Elizabeth moved in with his father John at Brookfield, where they remained until the outbreak of World War Two. John died in 1942 at the age of 87 and was buried alongside his wife at Patterdale on 5th March 1942.
It appears that when they retired William and Mary Elizabeth retired to Lancaster, where William died in May 1953 at the age of 62. If you can add any more details to the story of William and his family then please let us know.
Private William Stanley Brown
3rd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry
Born around August 1890, Patterdale. Died 5 May 1953, Lancaster Aged 62
Son of John and Sarah Ann (nee Wilcock) Brown, Grisedale Bridge and Brookfield
Husband of Mary Elizabeth Pears, Crookabeck Farm
In the centre of this photo is John Brown, whom we think is William’s father. Also in the photo are John Brown, William’s Uncle (on the right) and John Oglethorpe in the 1920s. It was taken at Greenside Mine where John Oglethorpe and John Brown were blacksmiths.
William’s cousin Frank Brown, who served in the Border Regiment and who died in Pakistan in October 1918.
William’s cousin Lance Corporal David Brown who served with the Border Regiment and was a POW.