Oversized Cabinet-Style Memorial Card
6 1/2 Inches by 8 1/2 Inches
(16.4 cm x 21.5 cm)
“We have met here today to pay the last mark of respect to our departed comrade, a man who served his God, who served his King, & who served his Country, no man can do more.” So reads the portion of Major J. E. B. Seeley’s (John Edward Bernard Seeley, 1st Baron Mottistone, CB, CMG, DSO, TD) eulogy to the late Regimental Sergeant Major Edward Brown, Jr. of the Hampshire Carabiniers (Imperial Yeomanry). Seeley’s quote appears on this thoughtful memorial card that honoured RSM Brown who died unexpectedly on 27 November 1902.
Edward Brown, Jr. was born at Southampton around 1855 to Edward Brown, Sr., a butcher and the justice of the peace for Above Bar and Hill Lane, Southampton, and Sarah Brown. The family was well enough off to retain two full-time servants in its employ.
In adult life the younger Brown was a man of varied interests, providing for his family as the proprietor of a butchery firm in Southampton. As indicated by the sentiments recorded on the memorial card, he had risen to the apex of noncommissioned/warrant rank in the Hampshire Carabiniers. He was also vice-chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society of Southampton.
Brown appears to have spent his entire tenure with the Carabiniers in its home county. He does not seem to have been part of either of the two companies (41st (Hampshire) Company and the 50th (Hampshire) Company) the Hampshires detailed to the Imperial Yeomanry for service in the Anglo-Boer War. The staff duties incumbent with the rank of RSM probably were at the center of him remaining at home. When Brown first joined the Carabiniers of the dates of his promotions are not yet known.
An obituary for Edward Brown appeared in the July-December 1902 issue of The Gardener’s Chronicle: A Weekly Illustrated Journal of Horticulture and Allied Subjects. His service with the Hampshire Carabiniers is only mentioned in passing, but his repute as a grower of chrysanthemums was much lauded. He won numerous prizes, including several silver medals at shows in Portsmouth, Southampton, and Winchester.
Brown married Eliza Jane Louisa (the last name not known) had the couple had at least four children: Lilian (b. 1881), Stanley Edward (b. 1883), Herbert Stewart (b. 1885), and Frederick Crichton (b. 1899). At the time of his passing, Brown’s estate was valued at £1401.
The artwork for Brown’s memorial was “Drawn and Designed” by Sergeant F. B. Burcher, presumably of the Carabiniers. Burcher’s original artwork was photographed and resulting prints were laid down as a background on a photographer’s card stock mount. A separate oval-cut photographic portrait of the late RSM Brown was then applied on top of the background artwork.