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Reginald Spencer Browne (CB, VD)

Major General

Serial No:
Serial No. 2069

4th Light Horse Brigade Headquarters, 6th Infantry Brigade, No. 2 Command Depot & 54th Infantry Headquarters


Reginald Spencer Browne (CB, VD) - Information

Reginald was a member of a large and influential Appin family. Born on the 13th of July 1856 to William James and Rachel Browne, he grew up on the family property of Oaklands in Appin. Reginald then moved to Queensland where he married his first wife Edith Fanny Sutton. Reginald and Edith had two children before she passed away in 1888. He then married his second wife in 1889, Katherine Fraser Munro.

While living in Queensland, Reginald joined the Queensland Expeditionary Force. He also served in the Commonwealth Military Force during the Boer War. Here, Reginald had taken part in expeditions to West Griqualand as a transport and supply officer. He also completed duty in the Kimberly, Orange Free State, Transvaal and Cape Colony. He was then stationed as Transport and Supply Officer and Camp Quartermaster at Belmont. By the end of the Boer War, Reginald was a staff officer under Major General Pilcher. For his service to the Crown, he was awarded the Queens Medal with five bars.

When Reginald returned to Australia, he continued his career in the military with service in the First World War. In 1914, Reginald now a Colonel, was stationed with the 4th Light Horse Brigade Headquarters. At the time, his wife Katherine and children were residing in Wahroonga. Reginald left to serve overseas, leaving Sydney Harbour on the 12th of June 1915 on the Suevic. After arriving in Egypt, General Birdwood gave him command of the 6th infantry Brigade at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli in September. On the 12th of December, Reginald began suffering with asthma, and was taken to hospital in Heliopolis, Egypt. He returned to duty, but by March 1916 was back in hospital in Cairo with a head wound that had turned septic. Reginald then became Commandant of Headquarters Staff at B Depot, and in June 1916 was transferred from Alexandria to England. Here, he took command of No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth on the 23rd of August 1916. The following year, continued illness brought him before a medical review board. Doctors concluded that Reginald would be unable to cope with another English winter. Consequently, he was invalided back to Australia in early 1918 diagnosed with emphysema.

Immediately after returning to Australia, he took command of the 54th Infantry Headquarters in Brisbane. He continued to serve with the military after the war ended, and by 1932 was promoted to Major General at Eagle Junction in Brisbane.