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Kenneth Ashby Brown, Captain, The Cameronians

​Kenneth Ashby Brown came up to Cambridge in October 1905 having attended Marlborough College.

Born: Glasgow, 5 August 1887

Fell in action: 14 April 1917

Brown arrived in Jesus just at a time when Chanticlere was in abeyance so one of the key sources for information about the lives of students in the early part of the twentieth century is missing in his case.

However, the Jesus College Cambridge Society (for College alumni) was created in 1903 with its first Annual Report being published in 1904. In the subsequent Annual Reports there are some details of students who achieved academic or sporting honours.

The Fourth Annual Report, 1906-07 provides one clue to Brown’s life at College: he was a member of the Rugby XV. He played as a forward in the team who “had plenty of dash, but were inclined to start badly and become demoralised”. The team statistics for the year were “played, 18; won, 10; lost, 7; drawn; 1. Points: For, 189; against, 200” (pp25-26).

Rugby was obviously a large part of Brown family life as a newspaper clipping from the Head Porter’s scrap book reveals that his uncle, J.B. Brown had been the captain of the Scotland Rugby Football team. The same newspaper clipping claims that he was a supporter of Glasgow Academicals.

The obituary for Brown in the Fourteenth Annual Report records that he left in 1906 to go into the family business, John Brown and Son Ltd. The obituary suggests that he was a busy man, playing for the Glasgow Academy Club as well as being a commissioned officer with the Scottish Rifles and assisted in training the Glasgow University OTC for five years (p20).

​You can e-mail us on ww1-project@jesus.cam.ac.uk, go to our First World War home page, or find us on Lives of the First World War.

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