Philip Brown and Thomas Kenny, VC

This page contains links to posts that relate to the story of WEA tutor Philip Brown and Durham pitman Thomas Kenny.  Thomas Kenny was awarded the Victoria Cross as a result of his bravery in rescuing the fatally wounded Brown from the battlefield on 4 November 1915.  Their story encapsulates so much of what the WEA was about.  Brown, born into relative privilege and with a glittering career ahead of him, chose instead to teach in the towns of the Durham coalfield.  When war broke out, he at first enlisted as an ordinary soldier, wanting to fight alongside his comrades. Eventually he accepted a commission with the DLI. Lieutentant Brown was fatally wounded in November 1915 and (the then) Private Kenny rescued the badly injured commanding officer from the battlefield, carrying him on his back under heavy gunfire.  Thomas Kenny’s bravery was immediately noted and he was awarded the Victoria Cross.  The Brown family and Kenny remained in touch throughout and beyond the War.

2 thoughts on “Philip Brown and Thomas Kenny, VC

  1. Glad you got your funding and your site up and running, thank you for mentioning our website. NEWMP North East War Memorials project, however we are still looking for the painting/portrait of Philip Brown that use to hang in the offices.
    I did enquire a few years ago, and am still looking for the painting.



    1. Thanks for this Jim. Let’s stay in touch – hopefully that portrait will come to light one of these days! And I’m sure some of our volunteer researchers will be asking your advice soon.



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