James Brown, was the third headmaster at Auchinraith Primary School at the start of the 20th Century. A remarkable man, whose tale needs told here, as a mark of respect for what he did for us.
James Brown came to Blantyre in 1900 from a town near Campbeltown. Unmarried, he lived with his sister at 8 Church Street. His teaching time At Auchinraith Primary School however, was relatively short lived, for upon his military interests and being of enrolment age, he was called to active service during the First World War.
He enlisted in the army in 1914 and served there as a captain, leading the Blantyre Territorials of the 6th Scottish Rifles. A posting in Summer 1915, saw him positioned at Festubert, under truly terrible conditions.
James was killed in action on 16th June 1915 while leading his men at Festubert. These amazing photos were taken at that battle of Festubert, on or around that day and they show the incredibly harsh reality of the landscape he was fighting in and how it looks today.
A letter to Captain Brown’s family from one of the wounded men informs them, “Our Captain died a hero’s death.’ Wounded in the shoulder, he got back to his feet and encouraged his men forward shouting , “Stick it Blantyre!” He was then shot in the head but still went forward until he was killed at the edge of the enemy trench.”
RIP Captain James Brown.
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