The Western Front

The Life and Death of a British Officer

Captain Oswald Eric Wreford Brown

The notebooks cover the period from Eric leaving for France until his death in Corbie in July 1916.


A full transcript of the letters can be found HERE (in Word format).


There is also a wealth of material covering aspects of army life, dealings with  the war graves commission, through to post war correspondence with friends.

Sunday July 11th 1915. This is to wish you goodbye. I fancy it is really right that we start away on Thursday 15th. I believe I am not sorry, though I hope for the sake of the Battalion that we may get a week or so over there before going into the firing line.  


We have a fair battalion here. Our Company is ahead of all in the shooting including other regiments in the Division.


I am going to speak freely on some points. I do not think the powers that be realise what the officers and the men in this new army are to each other. To get the best results platoon commanders and their men should only be separated by death or wounds. I know what I talk about in this case. I know very little about military matters but my experience in past years of men and my experience in the past ten months tell me that on this point I am right in my views.



Pte H Long 10134

28th July (1916)


Just a few lines to let you know that I just lost my best friend through the death of your dear brother Capt O E Wreford Brown when he died from his wounds received in action on the 4th of July.


I was with him all the time, he was operated on the night of the 4th and when I saw him the next morning I thought he looked very well and he said so himself, only his leg was a bit sore which in the event was the cause of his death.