Mount Bures Community Web Site






Information on Arthur and his family living in Bures Hamlet,

Although Valley Farm appears to be in Mount Bures,
it lies in the parish of Bures Hamlet





Arthur`s father, Walter William Brown, known as William or Will, was born 24th Feb 1897 in or near Bude and moved to "Pancrasweek" in 1903/ 1904.
The Brown family have been in North Cornwall since the 17th century at least. My father was William Brown’s brother.

He joined up to fight in the 1st world war and we have a family photo of him in uniform taken around 1915.
I know nothing of his service history but we do have his Great War medals. He married Alice Sleeman, who was local to North Cornwall presumably before 1923 when Arthur was born.

They moved to Essex, again I don’t know when, but we understood it was to help a trail blazing uncle by the name of Philip Sloman who had moved East earlier.
Go East, young man! We do not know when he took possession of Valley Green Farm nor if he joined his uncle first prior to moving there.

We had always understood that part of the farm (clearly not Valley Green) had been sold to The University of Essex for its campus.
Coincidentally the first Vice-chancellor of Essex was Albert Sloman (note1), another cousin.

We cannot say for certain if the sale is true, but he was definitely the first Vice-chancellor.

So Arthur clearly followed in his fathers footsteps by volunteering for duty. The family do have Arthur’s war medals, together with 2 photos of Arthur both in uniform.
We are thrilled that you and others have taken it upon yourselves to commemorate him and how extraordinary was Mary Kemp’s involvement

We were unaware of much that is on the website and only knew that he was shot down over France and we are grateful for that information. We did not know of the sculpture in the church.

I hope to come to Mount Bures in the not too distant future and would welcome the opportunity of thanking all those involved personally, but meanwhile thank you for all you have done.

Pancrasweek is a largish parish bordering the Devon/Cornwall border on the Devon side roughly halfway between Holsworthy(Devon) and Bude(Cornwall). The vast majority of the family lived on the Cornish side but really this particular area, bordered by Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and the fringes of Exmoor have their own character I think.
The farm (note 2) on Pancrasweek was where Arthur’s father grew up from the age of 6(approx.) until adulthood.

The farm is still in the family and where we now reside.

Kindly supplied by Walter Brown, Arthur being his first Cousin

<< Left, Arthur with his parents Alice and Walter.

Valley Farm

Jubilee House, New Cut, Bures
Walter and Alice moved here after vacating Valley Farm

Jubilee House 2019

Walter, talking to Ann and David Vangos two children next door.

Census for 1939

Jubilee Cottages, New Cut, Bures Hamlet
Jubilee Cottages were built in 1897 and probably the first property built in the road, as the cul-de-sac is only a few hundred yards long.

Next door lives good friends of mine, Ann & David Vango.
I spoke to them at some length about the Browns, as they were their next door neighbours
Jubilee Cottages were 2 separate properties, Walter & Alice bought them both and knocked it into one when they moved in sometime during 1964.

David and Ann moved in during mid 1964, but Walter and Alice moved in some months later.

When they vacated Valley Farm, they lived in Colchester Rd for a short before moving to New Cut.

The picture above shows Walter talking to David & Ann's children, Susan and Richard
Ann thinks they were taken during 1967.

A friend of Walter and Alice a Mr Pettit Clarke, while he was in France visited Ellecourt Cemetery, he collected a sample of soil from Arthur's grave in a jar, brought it back to Bures where he subsequently sprinkled the soil on their grave.

In the picture of the two children there are a couple of apple trees in Walters garden which still stands today.
Walter used to let David and Ann take as many apples as they required
David on one Armistice Day, knocked at the door and Walter answered - he was very annoyed at David wanting Apples on Remembrance Day and told him to go away and respect the War Dead

Walter died many years before Alice, but they couldn`t furnish a precise date, but 1968 seems the most plausible

Alice could never get over the loss of her Arthur, his death had totally devastated her
She often talked about her "beloved Arthur"

Alice then had appendicitis very late in life, Ann visited her in Hospital in Colchester

In later life Alice was very frail and walked with a tremendous stoop, her head was down near her waist
She became a recluse and when Ann walked out into the rear garden, Alice would hurry back indoors
If the children were playing in the garden, they could see Alice watching from a bedroom window.
On special occasions like Susan & Richard's birthdays or Christmas, Alice would put an envelope through the letter box with some money such as a sixpence

Both Walter & Alice were cremated in Colchester

Walter and Alice wanted to be buried as near to Valley Farm as possible, hence the grave nearest to the gate in Mount Bures cemetery

David Vango knew all about the Mount Bures grave, as he visits it regularly and keeps it tidy.
David has always been perplexed at the name "William" on the grave, when they called him Walter.

We know that Walter was a very religious man from David Vango.
In the diaries of Pettit Harvey who owned Sergeants Farm in Mount Bures, he makes numerous entries about being the Church Warden at St Johns.
Several entries mention speaking to Walter Brown, from this we can assume Walter may have been another Church Warden or deeply involved with the running of the Church.

For some unexplained reason there is no record in the Church burial book of any funeral service or interment for Alice and Walter.
Unfortunately, we have no idea who authorised or erected the memorial headstone in memory of Alice and Walter

William and Alice May Brown, parents of Arthur Brown
Dated 1979 located in the cemetery of Mount Bures Church

Alice May Sleeman: born Clawton, Devon 18th June 1893
Died Bures 1979, Cremated
Buried Mount Bures Nov 1979

Walter William Brown; born Devon, 24th February 1897
Died:- date unknown but Cremated ( from the size of the grave)
Buried Mount Bures Nov 1979

Note the Headstone should read Walter and not William
No record in St Johns Church of any Funeral Service or Burial
The Church Warden proposes the Memorial Stone was erected by the Undertakers as there was no family members remaining in the area
Hence the brief inscription.




(1) Essex University: In 1962 R. A. Butler (later Lord Butler of Saffron Walden) was appointed chancellor and A. E. (later Sir Albert) Sloman vice-chancellor.
There is also the Albert Sloman Library..
(2)The name of the farm has been withheld to protect its privacy

Research by Alan Beales
Updated 30/10/2019
updated with David and Ann Vango information 04/11/2019