1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brown, Sir George

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BROWN, SIR GEORGE (1790-1865), British soldier, was born and educated in Elgin, Scotland. He obtained a commission in the 43rd (now 1st Bn. Oxfordshire) Light Infantry in 1806, was promoted lieutenant a few months later, and saw active service for the first time in the Mediterranean and at Copenhagen, 1806 and 1807. The 43rd was one of the earliest arrivals in Spain when the Peninsular War broke out, and Brown was with his regiment at Vimeiro, and in the Corunna retreat. Later in 1809 the famous Light Division was formed, and with Craufurd he was present at all the actions of 1810-1811, being severely wounded at Talavera; he was then promoted captain and attended the Staff College at Great Marlow until (late in 1812) he returned to the Peninsula as a captain in the 85th. With this regiment he served under Major-General Lord Aylmer at the Nivelle and Nive, his conduct winning for him the rank of major. The 85th was next employed under General Robert Ross in America, and Brown, who received a severe wound at the action of Bladensburg, was promoted to a lieut.-colonelcy. At the age of twenty-five, with a brilliant war record, he received an appointment at the Horse Guards, and remained in London for over twenty-five years in various staff positions. He was made a colonel and K.H. in 1831, and by 1852 had arrived at the rank of lieut.-general and the dignity of K.C.B. At this time he was adjutant-general, but on the appointment of Lord Hardinge to the post of commander-in-chief, Brown left the Horse Guards. In 1854, on the despatch of a British force to the East, Sir George Brown was appointed to command the Light Division. This he led in action, and administered in camp, on Peninsular principles, and, whilst preserving the strictest discipline to a degree which came in for criticism, he made himself beloved by his men. At Alma he had a horse shot under him. At Inkerman he was wounded whilst leading the French Zouaves into action. In the following year, when an expedition against Kertch and the Russian communications was decided upon, Brown went in command of the British contingent. He was invalided home on the day of Lord Raglan's death. From March 1860 to March 1865 he was commander-in-chief in Ireland. At the time of his death in 1865 he was general and G.C.B., colonel of the 32nd Regiment and colonel-in-chief of the Rifle Brigade.