The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Maurice Lester
- Regimental #:
- 'D' Company, No 14 Platoon (previously No. 16 Platoon)
- Place of Birth:
- Ballarat, Victoria
- Father's Name:
- John Browne
- Mothers's Name:
- Isabella Browne (nee Ratcliffe)
- Roman Catholic
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Truck Driver
- Kranji War Cemetery, Collective Grave, Plot 6, Row C, Grave 12-14, Age 38.
- Cause of Death:
- Killed in Action
- Place of Death:
- 14 Mile Peg Lim Chu Kang Road
- Date of Death:
Maurice was with ‘D’ Coy 14 Platoon, however at Singapore another Platoon was created – No. 16 Platoonto which Maurice was transferred. He was KIA 9 Feb 1942 at Lim Chu Kang Road 14 Mile Peg aged 38 years.
Maurice Lester Browne was the son of John Browne and Isabella Ratcliffe who were both born in Victoria and married at Ballarat 1900. The couple had two sons, Richard John and Maurice.
The family moved to Western Australia. In 1912 Isabella Browne remarried William S.L. Purchase, who died Maylands in October 1949. She died 21 August 1949 at Wooroloo.
It is believed Maurice’s father died about 1935 and his brother Richard died in 1970.
Maurice married 1925 to Ethel Daisy Mercer at Kellerberrin, WA. It is believed the marriage broke down in the early 1930’s. The couple had two children born in Bruce Rock. Arthur Noel was born in 1926, Betty born in 1927. Ethel remarried and had more children. She died in 1985.
Prior to enlisting, Maurice was recorded by Electoral Rolls as living at Meekathara, employed as a road worker.
Above: Maurice’s fob watch which he left safely with his wife – it has been passed down to Maurice’s descendants.
Right: Maurice in his younger days. He appears to be dressed for a day out.
Maurice was not very tall and during his younger days whilst living in Kalgoorlie he was able to work as a jockey.
Below: Maurice Browne’s descendants visit Kranji.
They are three grandchildren L-R standing at rear: Brian, Karen and Lynette Browne, with great granddaughter Lisa Brown in front.
Above: Maurice would be so proud to see his descendants present on 17th November 2018, at Kings Park to have a plaque at the Avenue of Honour recognising his commitment to WW2, and honouring Maurice’s life.