BROWN, Allan

Service Numbers: 121, Commissioned Officer
Enlisted: 25 August 1914, Toowoomba, Queensland
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 45th Battalion Royal Fusiliers
Born: Manchester, England, 1891
Home Town: Brisbane, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Murdered - Shot And Stabbed by Bolshevik Mutineers, Onega River, Russia, 20 July 1919
Cemetery: Archangel Allied Cemetery
Special Memorial B13. Buried Kleshevo Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

25 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 121, Toowoomba, Queensland
24 Sep 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 121, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
24 Sep 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 121, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Star of England, Brisbane
9 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 121, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
14 Jul 1915: Wounded Private, SN 121, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli, GSW (foot)
28 Mar 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 2nd Light Horse Regiment
21 Jan 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Corporal, 49th Infantry Battalion
8 Feb 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 49th Infantry Battalion
14 Jun 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 49th Infantry Battalion
15 Jul 1917: Wounded Lieutenant, 49th Infantry Battalion, Warneton, 2nd occasion - GSW (elbow and buttock)
20 Jul 1919: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN Commissioned Officer, 45th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, North Russia 1918-19

Captain Allan Brown in Russia

When the Russian Civil War broke out in late 1917 the Allied decided to send across to Russia a force of about 500 men that formed the North Russian Expeditionary Force (NREF). This orginal force had nine Australian – 6 sergeants and 3 officers. The force was broken into two group’s code named ‘Syren Force’ which would serve in the Murmansk area and ‘Elope Force’ sent to the Archangel area.

The Australian personal had been selected by AIF Headquarters in April 1918. All of them were experienced soldiers, with three having served at Gallipoli. Sailing on the SS City of Marseilles on 17 June 1918 the Australians arrived in Murmansk and were immediately sent out on patrol. Later on, they were switched to the Archangel section.

The men were broken into small advisory groups and attached to White Russian and White Finnish units, being engaged in a range of administrative, instructional and advisory tasks. Captain Allan Brown was attached to the North Russian Rifles based at Onega—a White Russian battalion and was responsible for training the men.

However, on 20 July 1919 he was killed when the Russian’s in his battalion mutinied. When this had occurred Captain Brown had being close to the action and he managed to kill two Russian soldiers before he too was shot and stabbed multiple times by several soldiers.

Captain Allan Brown was one of only 2 Australia’s to be killed in the Northern Russian conflict with the other – Sergeant Samuel George Pearce, VC, MM, (part of the North Russian Relief Force (NRRF)) receiving a posthumous Victoria Cross.

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Biography contributed by John Edwards


The late Captain Allan Brown enlisted in Brisbane with the A.I.F., and was murdered by mutineers in Russia. The London "Daily Telegraph" of October 23, 1919, says: "The fate of many British officers is not clear. That of Major Hay, of the Royal Scots, unhappily, is almost certain a number of mutineers from Kleshohuevo, where the major was stationed, state that he was shot defending himself; others that he and the Russian officers with him made a stand, all eventually using their last bullet on themselves. At the same place was another British officer, Captain Brown, of the Australian Imperial Force. This officer arrived in the lines, and found the sentries sitting down, smoking and arguing. Through his interpreter he ordered them to stand up and 'not to play the fool.' They replied in English, 'Finish officer,' and tried to arrest him. Alone among these scores of armed, hostile men Captain Brown replied with the promptness and unshakable courage of the typical British officer. He shot two men dead, and wounded a third, before being shot and bayoneted to death." Any friends in Queensland of the late Captain Brown are invited to communicate with his father, Mr. Alfred Brown, 1 Pomona Docks, Manchester." - from the Brisbane Courier 02 Sep 1920 (