Saturday, 9 July 2011

Surname Saturday: Brown-ed Off!

Some weeks it just doesn't go well, does it?  After a fortnight of research into the Toal side of my family, yielding some exciting and sad revelations, I turned my attentions back to the Browns.  Shouldn't have bothered.  Might as well have sat window shopping on Ebay.

Generally, I am extremely pleased with the results of my labours - researching "Brown" is a pretty tough ask. But it has gone well - back to the mid eighteenth century, living cousins found, all jolly lovely.  But this week has been a little frustrating.  I had two goals - the whereabouts of my great-uncle Sidney's Battery at the time of his death in 1917 and a lead on my great-uncle Edwin's St John Ambulance Brigade war record.

To find the answer to my first question I turned to my favourite website - The Long, Long Trail.  It is the Holy Grail of all things WW1.  So I trawled the (rather long) lists of Divisions trying to find 127th Bristol Heavy Battery.  I didn't find it.  So I tried again.  And then (rather crossly now) again.  A fourth attempt was looking futile, so I steeled myself and posted a question on The Great War Forum, fearing that my general ignorance about WW1 was about to be unmasked.  It was - a very kind man gently reminded me that Heavy Batteries were not attached to Divisions, but part of a Corps.  I have been living under the rock beneath which I crawled ever since.

On the question of the St John Ambulance Brigade, I thought that I had sent a query (very politely and in English) to the SJA museum around a week ago.  I must be mistaken, because nobody has replied.

So, all in all, I am a bit browned off (don't know if that is a phrase in use in USA?  Comes from RAF slang, meaning "extremely annoyed") with my Brown research.

Here's to a better week next week!

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