Ernest Leonard Brown

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Ernest Leonard Brown

Postby Nathan » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:47 am

I am looking for information on my Grandfather Pte Ernest Leonard Brown 5045927 of the 1st Batallion who was killed in action on 8th June 1942 in the vicinity of Box 187 near Tobruk. He is buried in the Knightsbridge cemetery , Acroma. Having looked at the casualty records I noticed that a Pte Theodore Kenneth Charles Holton was killed on the same day in the same area and I wondered if they were together when their deaths ocurred. I can't find a grave record for Pte Holton. I would love to learn more about my Grandfather's movements and experiences during his army career. Thanks for reading my message
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Re: Ernest Leonard Brown

Postby scully » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:55 am

From the information I have on Monday the 8th June 1942, the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment had just arrived (the night before) and positioned itself at a location south of Acroma.

On arrival south of Acroma, the 1st Battalion and attached troops came under command of 22nd Armoured Brigade received orders to establish a defended box at locality Pt. 187, some 6 miles south of Acroma. This was mainly to provide a defensive position covering the withdrawal of the 50th Division and the 1st South African Division from the forward line, back to Tobruk.

The site selected was with the two forward Companies astride a small ridge running through Pt. 187, covering a strong gun line behind the ridge. This ridge commanded all the ground up the Rigel Ridge some 4 miles to the South East, with Knightsbridge behind Rigel some 7 miles south of Pt. 187. The ground behind Pt. 187 (i.e. to the north) held many sandy patches. The ground beyond the box to the north was a flat open plain for about 4 to 6 miles running up to an escarpment some 50 or 100 feet high, along the back of which ran the main road back to Tobruk. The box was constructed in a rough square, the sides being some 1000 yards long,

The actual point of the 1st Battalion position was initially marked by two 40 gallon petrol drums. However, these were then moved 500 yards to the west, so as to make the Germans think the position had moved and so caused much inaccurate shooting by German batteries in the initial shelling. Towards the end of the battle a German with a machine carbine was observed standing behind the petrol drums, and was causing some discomfort by firing into the rear of a Platoon (I think it was 16 Platoon) under the command of Lieut. J. J. Horton. (of 'D' Company) The German did not live long after he was discovered. I believe it was at this time that Private Ernest Leonard Brown (your grandfather) and Private Theodore Kenneth Charles Holton were killed by that German with the machine carbine.
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