Sons of Men - Evansville's War Record
Gold Star Biographies
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Pvt. Thomas A. Brown
Pioneer Platoon, Headquarters Company,
116th Infantry, 29th Division.
December 14, 1894 - October 9, 1918

     Thomas A. Brown was a soldier of democracy who did not indulge
in vivid, extravagant descriptions of his experiences and adventures.
His letters home gave little information of his army career. However,
when the occasion to test his courage presented itself, his actions
proved that he shirked no responsibilities.

     He was born December 14, 1894 at Rochester, Ky. When he was
twelve years of age he moved with his parents to this city, where he
attended the Carpenter School. When his school days were over he
worked in a coal mine at Johnson City, Ill., where he was a member
of Local Union 91. When he returned to Evansville he worked at the
Spot Cash Grocery for three years. He was then employed by the
Public Utilities Company as a street car conductor.

     On March 29, 1918, he entered the service and was sent to Camp
Taylor. He was assigned to Twenty-eighth Company, Seventh Training
Battalion, 159th Depot Brigade. On April 28, 1918, he was transferred
to Camp Gordon, Atlanta Ga.  Although he remained but a few weeks
at this camp, he was made Corporal. Two weeks later he was again
promoted and was made sergeant at Anniston, Alabama.  At this camp
he was transferred to the Twenty-Ninth Division, 116th Infantry
Headquarters, Pioneer Platoon.

     Before sailing for France, he was sent to Camp Merritt, N.J.,
June 13, 1918. At this time he wrote home saying that he expected
to sail within a few days. "Hold a stiff upper lip, and don't he blue
on account of me," he told his mother.  Although he was but ten
weeks in the service, the numerous experiences and the widening of
his horizon made him feel as though he had been away from home
for four years.

     A unit of the 29th Division went over the top October 8, 1918.
The next morning Sergeant Brown was among those who went out
on the field in relief of their comrades. He assisted in carrying
food and ammunition, when a high explosive shell killed him instantly,
October 9, 1918.

     A comrade of Sergeant Brown, I. Farely, wrote to his mother:
"He always did his duty as a soldier, and was much beloved by
his comrades in his platoon and company. But we feel assured that
he has gone to a better land where we all have to meet again."

Sons of Men: Evansville's War Record,
Compiled by Heiman Blatt,
Published by Abe P. Madison, 1920
pp. 35-36.
April 15, 1998