b. 06/03/1861 Dagshai, India. d. 03/03/1940 London.
Edward Douglas Brown (later Brown-Synge-Hutchinson) was born on 6th March 1861, son of Major David Philip Brown, 7th (Queen’s Own) Hussars, and Frances Dorothy (daughter of Francis Synge-Hutchinson and his wife, Lady Louisa Hely-Hutchinson). He was born in Dagshai, India where his father was stationed, and was christened Edward Douglas Brown.
He was educated at Edinburgh Academy, Windermere College, and at the United Services College, Westward Ho! He then entered the Army, receiving a commission as Lieutenant in the 18th Hussars on 7th November 1883, and became Captain in less than five years on 8th August 1888. On the 27th March 1889, he exchanged into the 14th Hussars. From the 1st January 1890 to 31st December 1894, he was Commandant of the Aldershot School of Instruction for Yeomanry. He was promoted to Major in January 1899, just prior to the outbreak of the Second Boer War.
He served throughout the Boer War from 1899-1902, receiving the Queen’s South Africa Medal with seven clasps, the King’s South Africa Medal with two clasps, was mentioned in despatches five times, and was recommended for the Victoria Cross. He was gazetted for the VC on 15th January 1901 for his actions at Geluk on 13th October 1900.
On the 13th October, 1900, at Geluk, when the enemy were within 400 yards, and bringing a heavy fire to bear, Major Brown, seeing that Sergeant Hersey's horse was shot, stopped behind the last squadron as it was retiring, and helped Sergeant Hersey to mount behind him, carrying him for about three-quarters of a mile to a place of safety. He did this under a heavy fire. Major Brown afterwards, enabled Lieutenant Browne, 14th Hussars, to mount, by holding his horse, which was very restive under the heavy fire. Lieutenant Browne could not otherwise have mounted. Subsequently Major Brown carried Lance-Corporal Trumpeter Leigh out of action.
He was presented with his VC by the future King George V (then Duke of Cornwall and York) at Pietermaritzburg on 14th August 1901. He then was given command of the 14th Hussars for the final seven months of the war, and given the brevet of Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1906, he was given the brevet of Colonel, and in 1911 was made Substantive Colonel. In the same year, he was made Knight of Grace of the Order of St John of Jerusalem in England. He was also appointed a Member of the Central Executive Committee of the St John’s Ambulance Association, a post he held until 1919. He was also awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 1911,and created a Companion of Bath.
In March 1917, he was promoted to Knight of Justice of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. By this time, he had adopted the surname Brown-Synge-Hutchinson, and lived his later life in London. He died on 3rd March 1940 aged 78 at his home, 833 Mount Royal, Marble Arch and he was cremated four days later at Golders Green Crematorium, and his ashes were scattered. His medals are held by the 14th/20th King’s Hussars Regimental Museum, Preston, Lancashire.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: 14/20TH KINGS HUSSARS MUSEUM, PRESTON.
BURIAL PLACE: GOLDERS GREEN CREMATORIUM, LONDON. ASHES SCATTERED.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
Golders Green Memorial
Haileybury College (Paul Deeprose)
14th/20th Hussars Museum, Preston