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SPENNYMOOR

Brabban, G., Pte., 1914-1918 (1964)
Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

George Brabban, one of 9 children was the youngest of 4 sons and had 4 elder and 1 younger sister. His father Martin Brabban born 1854 at Tudhoe, Spennymoor, and mother Mary Ann Reece of Consett, born 1852, both in County Durham, were married in 1876 in the district of Durham. Daughter Sarah Ann was born 1879 and Margaret Jane in 1880 while they were living at 63, Upper Church Street, Tudhoe Colliery, where Martin was employed as a coal miner, unfortunately Margaret Jane died in 1883. Ten years later they were still at the same address and Mary Ann had given birth to a further 5 children, Elizabeth Jane February 28th 1882, Thomas Reece 1884, William 1886, Susannah 1889 and Nicholas, September 10th 1890. Their youngest children George and Margaret Hilda were born March 4th 1893 and June 10th 1896 respectively. By 1901 Martin was still employed at the colliery as a shifter below ground, Sara Ann (22) was an assistant elementary school teacher, Thomas Reece (17) a machine fitterís apprentice and William (14) a grocerís apprentice, he was fully qualified by 1911. Williamís elder siblings were married by 1911, his brothers Nicholas (20) and George (18) had joined their father at the colliery employed as putters, Elizabeth Jane and Margaret Hilda assisted their mother at home.

George Brabban was married at Tudhoe, July 18th 1914, to Eleanor Cooke, settling at 41, Salvin Street, Croxdale, County Durham. He enlisted at Ferryhill, December 10th 1915, assigned to the Durham Light Infantry and posted to the 3rd Battalion, part of the Tyne Defences at South Shields and Jarrow. The 3rd Battalion was destined to remain in the UK as well as training new recruits and re-training ill and wounded men.

His wife Eleanor gave birth to a daughter Annie during the 2nd quarter (Apr/May/Jun) 1916 who died within the same quarter and Evelyn, November 13th 1917, at 212, Tudhoe Colliery, Spennymoor. Private 95859 George Brabban was mobilised, June 6th 1918, vaccinated between June 15-23rd and departed to France, September/October 1918, where he was posted to the 19th Battalion Durham Light Infantry at the 35th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples. He only spent 3 months in France remaining the entire time at the depot. Having been examined by the medical board in France, December 27th 1918, Private Brabban was classified as suffering from a disability, he declared this was unrelated to his military service. Repatriated to England on a 28 day leave he then joined his regiment at Ripon and was discharged. Recipient of the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Free to return to his home and employment he and his wife welcomed the birth of a son, George T. Brabban in 1923. What became of Eleanor Brabban nee Cooke is unknown. George in 1939, listed as married, was living at 63, Upper Church Street, Tudhoe Colliery, with his unmarried sister, Elizabeth Jane, who looked after the home while he was employed as a coal miner/hewer heavy worker underground at the colliery.

George Brabban died aged 71 years in 1964 his death registered in the district of Durham Western.

Georgeís three brothers were eligible to serve during WW1, however, only the records of his brothers William Brabban who died in Belgium in 1917 and Thomas Reece Brabban who survived the conflict, have been found.

In Godís safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk