Company Sergeant Major Reuben E Brown

{ Topper, Ben }

11 Sep 1918 - 07 Oct 1987

Reuben Brown was born on 11 September 1918 and came from Blackpool, Lancashire. He enlisted on 15 September 1939 into the Loyal Regiment.

He was promoted to Corporal on 5 September 1940, and was then transferred to the 8th Battalion, The King’s Own Royal Regiment and posted to the Isles of Scilly in December 1940.

In March 1941 he was promoted to Unpaid/Local/Sergeant and by May he was made Acting Sergeant with the pay that went with the rank.

On 12 July 1941 he embarked for service overseas and disembarked in Malta on 2 August 1941 and it was whilst he was stationed there that he was granted the War Substantive rank of Sergeant on 13 October 1941.

In May 1943 he was posted to the Middle East from Malta, embarking on 17 May and then disembarking on 20 May. He transferred to the ‘4th Airborne Division’ (a fictional cover unit created around the 4th Parachute Brigade) from the 8th Bn, The King’s Own Royal Regiment on 21 May 1943 and was granted parachute pay on 31 May.

At this time he would have been serving with ‘A’ Company, 11th Parachute Battalion under the command of Major DA Gilchrist and on 15 September 1943 he took part in the parachute operation on the island of Cos. The Company Group were withdrawn from Cos between 25 and 26 September 1943, back to Ramat David in Palestine by air.

He embarked in the Middle East on 18 December 1943 and disembarked in the United Kingdom on 6 January 1944. He was promoted to Unpaid/Acting Warrant Officer Class II on 10 August 1944 and became the Company Sergeant Major of ‘B’ Company, 11th Parachute Battalion.

As the CSM of ‘B’ Company he took off from Saltby aerodrome on Monday, 18 September 1944 to jump on DZ ‘Y’ at Ginkel Heath in Holland as part of ‘Operation Market-Garden’.

He survived the battle that took place over the next eight days and successfully withdrew back across the Lower Rhine on the night of 25/26 September. He emplaned in NWE for the UK on 30 September 1944.

He was posted to the 3rd Parachute Battalion and SOS (Struck Off Strength) of the 11th Parachute Battalion on 10 December 1944.

After a series of postings to various parachute Units, throughout 1945, he was discharged to the ‘Y’ Reserve List on 1 February 1946.

His Overseas service lists the following:

Malta 1940 (41) – 43.

Egypt 1943.

Greece 1943. [The 11th Parachute Battalion operation on Cos.]

Palestine 1943.

France & Germany 1944.

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Service History

  • 1939
    Loyal Regiment (N.L.) (Private)
  • 1940
    Loyal Regiment (N.L.) (Corporal)
  • 1940
    8th Bn.K.O.R.R. (Corporal)
  • 1941
    8th Bn K.O.R.R. (Sergeant)
  • 1943
    11th Parachute Battalion (Company Sergeant Major)
  • 1943
    11 Para Army Air Corps (Sergeant)
  • 1944
    11 Para Army Air Corps (Warrant Officer Class 2)
  • 1944
    3 Para Army Air Corps (Warrant Officer Class 2)
  • 1945
    2nd/3rd Parachute Battalion (Company Sergeant Major)
  • 1945
    Hq Bn. Parachute Regiment (Warrant Officer Class 2)
  • 1945
    1 Para Parachute Regiment (Company Sergeant Major)
Reuben E Brown

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  • Warrant Officer’s & Sergeant’s Mess, 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. Melton Mowbray, July 1945.

    Warrant Officer’s & Sergeant’s Mess, 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. Melton Mowbray, July 1945.

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