Last week we were contacted via e-mail from far distant New Zealand.
The e-mails, which in many ways justify our project and all that we are trying to achieve, are shared with you here.
Sandra says that she was emotional watching the videos but her words bring out emotions too.
Corporal Joseph Brown died in France in April 1918 serving with the OBLI Territorials. CWGC list him as “son of A Bateman of 2 Towersey Rd, Thame.”
From: Sandra Choate
I wanted to pass on my thanks for the information you have posted on Corporal Joseph Brown. My family did not have any information on him other than his birth date.
I came across your website and the information confirmed that he was in fact my great uncle. My mother, aunts and uncles are very grateful to the people who researched and posted this information. We feel like we have found a missing member of our family.
Thank you for your reply and additional information. I watched the BBC clips and felt such thankfulness that you have all put so much time and effort into making sure the stories of these Thame men are not lost. I have to admit to feeling very emotional when I read your account of being at Joseph’s gravesite.
At this point we do not have any more information on Joseph but I will definitely pass on anything that comes up in the future.
My mother, two Aunts and an Uncle were sent to New Zealand as part of the British governments Child Migration Scheme after World War 2. They did not have very much information about their mother’s side of the family (the Browns). Their sister was adopted within the family and remained in England. She came to New Zealand for a holiday and was here when I found your site.
Since returning to Reading, she has visited the Thame war memorial and shared the photos with us. As you can imagine, researching someone with the surname Brown has proven to be very difficult and I do not imagine I would have made the connection without your wonderful project.
Thank you again.