Leading Seaman
Gilbert Brown Nurse


About Gilbert Brown

  • Name
    Gilbert Brown
  • Initials
    G B
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    23 February 1893
  • Birth town
    Kings Lynn, Norfolk
  • Resided town
    Kings Lynn
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
    Kingsbridge, Devon
  • Date of death
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Post Office Telegraph Clerk

Service Information

  • Royal Navy

  • Service Number
  • Rank
    Leading Seaman
  • Ship
    HMS King Orry


Gilbert Brown Nurse was born in 1893, at Kings Lynn, to father Frederick who was a railway clerk and mother Sarah (Brown). He was one of seven children.

Gilbert joined the Royal Navy as a Boy Sailor aged 16 in 1909, after working for the Post Office as a telegraph clerk.  He signed on for 12 years on his 18th birthday.  He was a Signaller and served on the Dreadnought Battleships Bellepheron and Cornwallis during the War.

He passed through Peterborough East Station and signed the visitors’ book on 28 July 1917, and was serving aboard HMS King Orry, a former Isle of Man packet ship.  Not the luckiest of ships, as during its life it ran aground three times, collided with a destroyer and was sunk off Dunkirk in 1940.  However on 21 November 1918, it was awarded the singular honour by Admiral Beatty, in recognition of the part played in WW1 by British Merchant Ships, of leading the capitulating German Grand Fleet into Scapa Flow.   http://bit.ly/2hwIguV

Gilbert was awarded the 14/15 Star, British War and Allied Victory medals.

After the war Gilbert continued his naval career, having married Beatrice Mickle in Devonport in 1920, he signed on again in 1923.  Their first daughter Doris was born in 1921.  His service record notes his consistently good character throughout his career resulting in the Long Service and Good Conduct medal in 1926.  We believe he left regular service with the Royal Navy in 1934.  The couple subsequently had two further daughters, Margaret and Patricia, in 1935 and 1936.

Gilbert worked at a Royal Navy Radio Station at Spurn Point, Holderness, Yorkshire in 1939, probably in the RN Reserve.  His wife Beatrice was living locally at 3 North Church Side Holderness, Yorkshire with their three daughters.

The family returned to Devon, settling near Kingsbridge, where Gilbert died in 1951 aged 57.  All three daughters married in Kingsbridge with the two youngest, Margaret and Patricia, possibly having a double wedding in March 1956.  His wife Beatrice passed away aged 80 in 1977, in Devon.

Do you recoginise the name Gilbert Brown Nurse? Please get in touch if you can tell us more about him.



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