Holbeach man catastrophically injured in 1915

Holbeach War Memorial.
Holbeach War Memorial.
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Holbeach man ‘Ducer’ Brown spent over 12 months in the firing line in France but was catastrophically injured on his last day of a grenade and bomb throwing course 100 years ago.

Corpl A Brown, of Church Street, had been in the regular Army for ten years, serving in the 1st Lincolns in India for eight years.

He had gone to France with the first expeditionary force in August 1914, and in the October was wounded in the leg with shrapnel.

He was taken to Devonport, where he was in hospital for three weeks, and didn’t return to the front until January of 1915.

The report said: “Altogether he has spent over twelve months in the firing line, and has visited many parts of the line, fighting all the time.”

However, Corpl Brown was writing to these newspapers from a hospital ward in Boulogne in response to enquiries about him from home. He had been badly injured in early November while undertaking the special course in grenade and bomb throwing.

He said: “I had been throwing different kinds of bombs all day. It was 3.55pm and this was the last bomb I had to fire. The officer gave the order to fire, and I turned the lighter of the bomb which should have taken five seconds before it exploded. It was a bad lighter, and it caused the bomb to explode immediately. I am sorry to say it blew my right hand off and one finger on my left, and damaged my left hand. I lost my right eye, and the left is injured. I also got three wounds on my right arm, and one on my left arm, and several wounds on my body.

“I am lying at this hospital, and getting the best of treatment. I am pleased to say I am going on real well. I am not a bit downhearted.”