The headstone of Thomas Brown – the Soldier with the silver nose. The Valiant Dragoon and Hero of Dettingen, Thomas Brown, was born in Kirkleatham in 1705.
The headstone can still be seen in the churchyard of St Mary Magdalene’s church today.
For more information about Thomas Brown visit Heritage Stockton
*Thomas Brown*, or to give him his full title, Sir Thomas Brown of Yarm (1705–1746) was born in Kirkleatham. Brown was a shoemakers apprentice in Yarm, before joining the Army. Brown fought as a private soldier in the King’s Own Regiment the Dragoons. He was the hero of the Battle of Dettingen (1743) Bavaria, this battle being the last time that a British monarch, George II, led his country’s’ troops into battle.During this battle Brown had two horses killed under him. Brown witnessed the regiment’s standard (flag) falling to the ground and captured by the French, he attempted to recover the standard, but was struck by a blow from a sabre and lost two fingers from his left hand. His horse bolted to the rear of the enemy lines, where Brown subsequently caught sight of the regimental standard in the hands of a French trooper. After killing the enemy soldier to recover the regimental standard, Brown remounted his horse and returned to his own side by galloping through the massed ranks of the enemy. During this return journey Brown was further wounded receiving eight sabre cuts in his face, neck and head, and lost most of his nose; two musket bullets hit his back, and three passed through his headgear, returning to his own company a hero, he was applauded by his fellow troops with ‘three loud cheers’ in recognition of his bravery.
After retiring from army service, he was rewarded by King George II with a gold-topped walking stick, a replica nose made of silver to replace his lost in battle, and a pension of 30 crowns (£30) a year. Brown moved to Yarm and opened an inn bearing his own name, where he lived out the remainder of his life. Brown died in Yarm, and is buried there in the churchyard of St Mary Magdalene’s church. His grave is now marked with a Commonwealth War Graves Commission Honorary headstone, presented by his regiment The Queen’s Own Hussars in 1968. The Battle of Dettingen is notable for two things; it was the last time a British Monarch personally led his troops into battle and the last time a serving soldier was knighted on the battlefield. Tom Brown was knighted by the King at the end of the battle for his brave actions. This is believed to be the last time a sovereign conferred the title Knight Bannerette (Kings Champion) to troops on the field of battle. It is recorded that he created sixteen knights bannerette on the Dettingen Battle field by two sources. (Written from www-sources)
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