Thomas Matthew Brown

September 6, 2015

BROWN, Thomas Matthew- – – – – SPC 1898

DoB:- – 1881, Coleraine, VIC

Father:- – William James Brown

Mother:- – Bridget, nee Feehely

Thomas Brown was a boarder at St Patrick’s from the town of Hamilton in Victoria’s Western District. He was a member of the 1st XVIII football team, and was noted in the College Annual as being a -‘-¦good half-back man -¦’

Service No:- 12544

Rank:- – Private, Driver

Unit:- – 27th Army Service Corps (ASC)

Thomas Matthew Brown enlisted on 19 July 1915 as a single man whose occupation was Clerk. He was 33 years and two months old, five feet, two and three-quarter inches tall, with a dark complexion, grey-blue eyes and black hair. After enlistment, Private Brown spent several months in training, firstly at the Melbourne Show Grounds, later at the AIF Camp in Broadmeadows, until 26 April 1916. On 1 September he was appointed Driver.

Brown embarked from Melbourne on 22 September 1916 aboard the Seang Choon, arriving at Plymouth, England on 9 December. He marched out to Parkhouse training camp where he remained until 7 February 1918. On that date, he proceeded via Southampton overseas to Havre, France. Driver Brown remained in the Field until 6 February 1919, when he was granted leave to Paris for two weeks. He returned to the Field until mid-March, when he marched out to England for his return to Australia.

On 1 May 1919, Thomas Brown sailed from England aboard the China, and was discharged from the AIF on 3 August. The Medical Officer noted on the -‘Medical Report of an Invalid’ form, dated 26 July 1919, that Baker’s present condition:

– -‘-¦ There is no hernia. Heart -“ clear. Lungs -“ clear. Urine -“ normal. Incapacity -“ Nil’.

Interestingly, despite his incapacity being noted as -‘nil’, four letters followed this conclusion: DAPU, which mean, Discharged as Permanently Unfit. There is nothing in his war record to indicate that Thomas was involved in action where he was physically hurt, so one could assume that it could be a mental incapacity that the medical officer referred to.

When Thomas returned to Australia, he resumed his life in Hamilton. He was employed as a clerk and sometimes an auctioneer during his working life. In the electoral rolls of 1954, Thomas was living at the Queen Victoria Cottages in Hamilton. This hospice had been converted in 1952 from the Queen Victoria Isolation and Fever War, originally built in 1897. Due to improvements in the treatment of infectious diseases over the first half of the twentieth century, the building was converted for nursing care. The QV Cottages lived up to its reputation, as patients loved the homely atmosphere and they were cared for by devoted staff.

Thomas Matthew Brown died on 9 December 1954, at the age of 72 years. He had suffered from hypertension and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, for several years, and leading up to his death, kidney failure. He was buried at the Hamilton cemetery. He never married.