Friday, 12 February 2010

Blackmore: Petrie Connection

Further research on a church window at Blackmore has revealed the connection between Herbert Brown, who died in the First World War, the Pratt family and Revd. Walter Layton Petrie, the parish Vicar between 1888 and 1922.

The Parish Council is having the War Memorial cleaned and re-engraved and some villagers are keen to correctly record the names and remember those whose names, for whatever reason, were not included on the memorial when it was unveiled in November 1920. Any information on Herbert Brown would be gratefully received.

An earlier blog entry queries a possible connection between Revd. Petrie and dedication of a war memorial window to a Lt. Herbert Brown. (

Subsequently a reader of the blog advised that Herbert James Brown is commemorated on the Christ Church Lee memorial in the London Borough of Lewisham, now housed at the Local History and Archives Centre, Lewisham and is on their war memorial website at

The citation for Lieutenant Herbert James Brown may be found on the following link:

(1884 - 1917)
War Service:
Lt. in the 1st/7th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Died in Israel 06 Nov 1917, aged 33.
Location of Memorial:
Christ Church WW1 War Memorial and Beersheba War Cemetery and Window at St Laurence, Blackmore, Essex inscribed
I have not found so great faith in Israel.
In memory of Herbert James Brown Lieut. Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
Killed in action in Palestine Nov. 6th 1917. Given by his widow.
Born Mar Q 1884 Lewisham RD. Husband of Grace E. Petrie (formerly Brown)[nee Pratt Married Sep Q 1911 Ongar RD][Grace remarried Mar Q 1919 St Martin RD Stanley Layton Petrie], of St. Barnabas Vicarage, Sunderland. Native of Essex. Stanley was vicar of St Barnabas, Sunderland from 1915 until 1929, when he became vicar of Holy Trinity, Stockton on Tees, where he remained until after 1931. Herbert and Grace children: Peggy E [Mar Q 1915 Lewisham RD].”

Herbert Brown was born in Lee in 1884 and married Grace E Pratt in 1911. They had one child Peggy, born 1915. Following the death of her husband Grace married for a second time, to Stanley L Petrie.

The Pratt Family lived in Blackmore.

Rowland Richard Pratt was born in Navestock, Essex, in 1848. His wife, Clara (nee Patmore) was born in Takeley, Essex about 1855. Rowland was the son of Charles & Charlotte Pratt. Clara was the daughter of William & Phoebe Patmore. Rowland & Clara's three children were Clifford, Ethel & Grace.

In the 1911 census we find Grace Evelyn Pratt, aged 29, living at Hay Green Farm, Blackmore.

The family comprised:

Rowland Richard Pratt. Head. Married. M. 62. Occupation: Independant [Independent]. Born: Narestork [Navestock], Essex
Clara Rebecca Pratt. Wife. Married 34 years. F. 55. Occupation: At home. Born: Lakely [Takely], Essex
Rowland Clifford Pratt. Son. Single. M. 21. Working at home on farm. Born: Doddinghurst, Essex
Grace Evelyn Pratt. Daughter. Single. F. 29. Working at home on farm. Born: Narestork [Navestock], Essex

My notes show that Rowland Pratt was a Churchwarden at the Parish Church in Blackmore in 1907. He was buried at Blackmore, 8 May 1913, aged 64.
Clara, his wife, was buried at Blackmore, 22 April 1912, aged 57.

Grace married Herbert Brown at Blackmore on 15th July 1911. . Herbert Brown, then aged 27, was an Engineer from Blackheath. His father was Ernest James Brown, a brick manufacturer. Grace Pratt, aged 30, was a Blackmore resident. Her father, Rowland Richard Pratt, describes his profession as ‘Gentleman’ [ERO D/P 266/1/12].

The Memorial Window in the south aisle of the Priory Church of St Laurence, Blackmore, records on the left side Herbert James Brown:

“I have not found so great faith in Israel.

“In memory of Herbert James Brown Lieut. Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Killed in action in Palestine Nov 6th 1917. Given by his widow. [i.e. Grace Petrie nee Brown nee Pratt]

Herbert Brown was not a Blackmore resident as far as I am aware.

Grace later married Walter Layton Petrie’s son, Stanley, of St Barnabas Vicarage, Sunderland.

On the right hand of the window is inscribed:

“Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me.
“To the memory of Rowland Richard and Clara Rebecca Pratt. Given by their three children”.

The information from the 1911 census therefore confirms the identity and relationship of the people commemorated. The window was given, principally, by Grace Petrie, daughter-in-law of the serving Parish Vicar.

No comments: