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Thomas Brown


Thomas  Brown

3rd King's Own Regiment of Dragoons  

The Headstone

tbrown.jpg (562312 bytes) It is interesting to note that although Thomas Brown was buried in Yarm Churchyard, North Yorkshire, on the 18th January 1746, no headstone marked his resting place.  It was due to the interest of the Thomas Brown Society and the Regimental Secretary that at long last this was rectified.  On Sunday, the 8th June 1969 a headstone to the memory of Thomas Brown was erected in Yarm Churchyard. The words on the stone are already worn and not easy to make out, but I believe they  say ...







27TH JUNE 1743



What follows is an extract from:

A special study of the battle of Dettingen by  Major L J Melhuish ...

At Dettingen on 27 June 1743, the 3rd and the 7th won their first shared battle honour and captured the original silver drums.  Yet that morning a French victory was probable as the Allied Army of 44,000, under King George II, withdrew along the East bank of the river Main, by the narrow plain under steep wooded hills, and into the trap sprung by General Noilles’s French Army of 70,000.

From the other bank. Noilles sent 28,000 men under the Duc de Grammont over the river to bar the allies’ road before Dettingen.  Another force crossed behind their rearguard and the French batteries firing across the river commanded the lower east bank and the approaches to Dettingen.  During the battle the 3rd was detached to the left flank and were, after a time much reduced in numbers.

Grammont then launched nine squadrons of the elite Maison du Roi, in eight lines, against the allies left.  The 3rd, now only the strength of two weak squadrons, formed into three lines, and charged the French Horse, cutting through them, causing many casualties but suffering grievously.

Undaunted, they reformed and twice more repeated their feat.  On the last charge they cut through ten times their number, until they had lost three-quarters of their men in killed and wounded.  During the melee a cornet dropped the standard when his wrist was wounded.

Dragoon Thomas Brown, on seeing the cornet drop the standard, “attempted to dismount in order to recover it”.  In so-doing he “lost two fingers of his bridle hand by a sabre cut and his horse ran away with him to the rear of the French lines”.

He there saw and killed a gendarme carrying off the lost standard, catching it as it fell and “fixing it between his leg and saddle” he cut his way back to the regiment, which gave him “three Huzzas”.

Brown received “seven wounds in his head, face and body, besides which three balls passed through his hat” and “two lodged in his back where they could not be extracted”.  After the battle the King, reviving the creation of Knights banneret on the field, dubbed Thomas Brown as the last.


Thomas Brown regaining the lost Guidon

Attributed to Richard Ansdell

tbrowndet.JPG (128080 bytes)

From a painting in The Officers Mess


From an old print of the time ...

"He had two horses killed under him, two fingers of ye bridle hand chopt off and after retaking the Standard from ye Gen d'Arms, whom he killed, he made his way through a line of the enemy exposed to fire and sword, in the execution of which he received eight cuts in ye face and neck, two balls lodged in his back, three went through his hat, and in this hack'd condition he rejoined his regiment, who gave him three Huzzas on his arrival".

Sam Davies a fellow Dragoon wrote ...

 “Our Regiment is above half killed and wounded, for never any Men in the Field behaved as well as they did — so carry all the Honour”.

Yet the Battle Honour was not awarded until 1882.

Dettingen was the last battle in which a British Monarch commanded the Army in person.



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