An Expert in Public Building Architecture.


Born: 29th October 1881, Ipswich.


Father: Lovick Mentor Cooper Anstead Browne, born 2nd September 1854, at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, baptised Mento Cooper Lovick Browne 12th February 1855, at Great Yarmouth. He was employed as a commercial traveller. Lovick died 26th February 1923, Ipswich.


Mother: Eliza Browne (nee Manthorpe), baptised: 6th November 1859, Kessingland, Suffolk. Eliza Browne died 19th August 1935, of 98, London Road, Ipswich.




Harry Anstead Browne, born 15th November 1879, Ipswich. On the 24th April 1902, at St. Jude’s Church, Hunslet, West Yorkshire 28 year old Harry, a commercial traveller married 39 year old widow Susanna Johnson (nee Rawlins), born 1853, Hull, Yorkshire – daughter of Joseph Rawlins, a wood carver. Susanna was first married in 1872 to Thomas Johnson. Susanna and Thomas had seven children. The children became Harry’s stepchildren. Susannah Browne died 1930, Yorkshire. Harry Browne died 23rd July 1966, at Hemlington Hospital, Middlesbrough, of 2, Saxby Road, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees.


Lilian Edith (Trixie) Browne, born 11th August 1883, Ipswich. On the 25th September 1909, at Felixstowe Parish Church, Suffolk, Lilian married Archibald Otho Briggs, a bank clerk for the Joint Stock Bank, born 6th August 1881, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. Lilian and Archibald had three sons. On the 1939 register, Lilian and Archibald were living at their family home – Mill Cottage, The Quay, Tendring, Essex. Archibald Briggs died 20th January 1964, at Severalls Hospital, Colchester, Essex, of 4, West Street, Harwich, Essex. Lilian Briggs died 20th March 1977, Torquay, Devon.


Louis Ord Browne, born 13th August 1885, Ipswich. On the 1st February 1905, at St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, 21 year old Louis, farmer, of Hall Quay, Great Yarmouth married 35 year old widow, Alice Girling (nee Howlett), of Halesworth, Suffolk, born 9th September 1867, Ilketshall, Suffolk, baptised 11th July 1869, at Westhall, Suffolk – daughter of John Howlett, a farmer and Anna Howlett (nee Moore), of St. James South Elmham, Suffolk. Alice was first married in October 1897, at St. Stephen’s Church, Woollahra, New South Wales, Australia, to Henry Arthur Halkett Girling, a farmer originally from Knodishall, Suffolk. Henry Girling died 12th March 1899, Armidale, N.S.W., their daughter Henrietta was born four months later in Suffolk. Louis and Alice had two children. By 1939 Louis and Alice had separated. Alice Browne died 1946, Essex. In 1946, Lewisham, London, Louis married Ethel May Phillips, a clerk for a stock and shares dealers, born 5th January 1904, Bromley, Kent – daughter of William George Phillips and Charlotte Phillips (nee Lines). Louis Browne died 25th September 1950, at The General Hospital, Margate, Kent, of 14, Northumberland Avenue, Cliftonville, Margate. Ethel Browne died 200, Hampshire.


Sidney Edward Browne, born 3rd November 1889, Ipswich. In 1922, at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Sidney, of 3, Wilberforce Street, Ipswich, an ironmonger’s assistant at Smyth Bros., Ipswich, married widow Eva Lofts (nee Dennant), born October 1891, Dovercourt, Essex – daughter of William Dennant, an engine fitter and Laura Dennant (nee Offord). Eva was the widow of Clifford Frederick Lofts, a sapper with the Royal Engineers. Clifford died of pneumonia, 28th November 1918 whilst serving in Italy, aged 29. Eva and Sidney had two children. On the 1939 register, the Browne family were living at 48, Berners Street, Ipswich, Sidney was a demolishing expert and builder and a mechanic representative. Eva Browne died 15th October 1965, at 19, Bridge Road, Oulton Broad, Suffolk, of 406A, London Road South, Lowestoft, Suffolk.



Edward Otho Briggs, born 1917, Ipswich lost his life during the Second World War. Edward, of Mill Cottage, St. Oysth, Essex, was ranked a Lieutenant, service number 271792 for the Royal Engineers, attached to the 401 Royal Bombay Field Squadron Royal Indian Engineers. He died on the 9th March 1944, in Burma, aged 27. Edward is commemorated on the Rangoon Memorial, Myanmar. On the 18th May 1944, Edward was awarded a posthumous Military Cross for gallantry in the construction of a stream (chaung) crossing for tanks of the 25th Dragoons during the Battle of Admin – East of the Ngakyedauk Pass with Jamadar.




1891   10, Friars Street, St. Nicholas, Ipswich.


Fred was 9 years old and living with his mother and siblings.

Eliza, 32, wife of a commercial traveller.

Harry, 11.

Lily, 7.

Louis, 5.

Sidney, 1.


1901   42, Burlington Road, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich.


Fred was 19 years old, an Architect Assistant. He was living with his parents and siblings.

Lovick, 46, a Wine Merchant’s Traveller.

Eliza, 41.

Lilian, 17.

Louis, 15.

Sidney, 11.


1911   3, Wilberforce Street, Ipswich.


Fred was 29 years old, an Architect. He was living with his parents.

Lovick, 56, a Clerk – Coal Trade.

Eliza, 51.


On Thursday, 26th June 1913, at the Parish Church, Felixstowe, Suffolk, Fred married Suzanne Emilie Leontine Chatillon, born France – only daughter of Lieut.-Col. Chatillon, Commander of the Fortresses of Nice, France.


In the Divorce Court, yesterday, before Mr. Justice Horridge, Mr. Fred Anstead Browne, architect, of Stanley Park, Litherland, Lancashire, petitioned for divorce from his wife, Suzanne Emilie L. Browne, on the ground of her misconduct with a man unknown. There was no defence.

Examined by Mr. Willis, K.C., the petitioner said he married the respondent in 1913, at Felixstowe. She was a Frenchwoman, and they lived at Ipswich and other places. There were no children. She was always a source of trouble for him. He joined the Army in January 1916, and while away he learned that she had taken a furnished house and was entertaining various men. He was demobilised in January 1919, and he found a letter addressed to his wife by some man, dated February 1918. It said: “I don’t remember having known another girl such an awful flirt and married. Your sincere friend and much love, Harold.She became a teacher of languages and history at the High School, Taunton, against his wishes. She earned between £250 and £400 a year. In August 1923, he got a letter from her enclosing a hotel bill, which she said she hoped he would use to set her free, as she did not wish to spoil her life any longer. She added that their married life had been a complete failure, and she wanted to recover her nationality. In November 1923, she sent another hotel bill, saying, “I committed misconduct again. I do not whether it is of interest to you. I thought it best to tell you the truth so that you might realise that our separate life cannot bring any better fruits, and so that you can use your judgment.”

Evidence having been given that respondent and another man had stayed at a hotel in London as Mr. and Mrs. Gascon, his Lordship granted a decree nisi. Western Daily Press – Tuesday, 4th November 1924

In 1925, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, Suzanne married Gaston G. Chambon.


In 1929, Chester, Cheshire, Fred married Norah Catherine Habrow (nee Pasmore), born 7th September 1891, Southampton, Hampshire – daughter of Obadiah and Lucretia, of Southampton.

Norah was first married in June 1919, St. Mark’s Church, Harlesden, Middlesex, to Cecil Wake Habrow, a bank clerk, of Harlesden, born February 1890.


Father: Obadiah Pasmore born 4th September 1851 Bincombe, Devon, baptised 19th October 1851, Holbeton, Devon. A commission agent. Obadiah Batte Pasmore died 19th February 1925, at Garryowen, Northlands Road, Totton, Southampton.

Mother: Lucretia Elizabeth Pasmore (nee Bushman), born 1860, Norwich, Norfolk. Lucretia Pasmore died 1902, Hampshire.

Stepmother: Catherine Pasmore (nee Cunningham), born 1873, Shorncliffe, Kent. Catherine Pasmore died 23rd May 1957, at Fenwick Hospital, Lynhurst, Hampshire, of The Haven, Queen’s Parade, Lynhurst.


On the England and Wales Register 1939, Fred and Norah are living at their family home – Geehallow, Neston, Wirral Peninsula, Cheshire.



Norah Browne became well known for her great work for the British Red Cross Society. She was often the guest speaker at British Red Cross Society meetings hosted at village halls and clubs around the districts of Cheshire. Her addresses were on the work of the British Red Cross Society and during the meetings, she made appeals for recruits from the districts and the forming of Red Cross detachments of ladies. She spent much time and energy on her work to further the objectives of the Society. By 1937, Norah became Commandant of Cheshire 46 with her efficiency in mimic warfare display, in May 1937 under her direction a realistic air raid was staged by Cheshire 7 and 46 detachments, with the aid of three aeroplanes to carried out the raid, by kind permission of Group Captain Hallehawk, A.F.C., of Sealand.

Norah was awarded the 1st Class Home Office Instructor’s certificate in Chemical Warfare, a proficiency badge in Home Nursing, and an advanced certificate in First Aid and an Hon. Life membership badge.

Norah also worked equally hard with her Air Raid Precautions duties. In April 1938, Norah, a Home Instructor (1st Class) in Anti-Gas Measures, gave free lectures at village halls on air raid precautions and how to protect your home.

During the Second World War, she was an official of the Directorate of Emergency Repairs for the Ministry of Works and Buildings.

In November 1940, at Neston as an organiser of the local Spitfire Fund, Norah was successful in obtaining a Junkers 88, which was exhibited at Parkgate for two weeks. To view the Nazi bomber a charge of 6d for adults and 3d, for children was made with all money given to the local fund.


Fred too was heavily involved with the work of the Air Raid Precautions Committee.


Throughout his career, Fred obtained special experience in public work in London and Lancashire and was the winner in large competition work and was successful in many public buildings such as town halls, schools, hospitals, libraries, etc., for various public authorities.

Fred served his articles with Mr. Thomas William Cotman, M.S.A., of 7, Northgate Street, Ipswich, to become a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Fred then spent two years travelling abroad on architectural study. On returning from aboard he was appointed senior assistant to Messrs. William Eade (brother-in-law of Thomas Cotman) and Edwin Thomas Johns, at their Cornhill Chambers, Ipswich. He later became a partner with Messrs. Eade and Johns.

In April 1904, the Mayor of Ipswich, Mr. Frederick Bennett, a Master Builder, was honoured by members of the Eastern Counties Master Builders’ Association, of which Frederick was President. At the event held at the Ipswich Town Hall, Frederick Bennett was presented with an illuminated address, signed by his fellow members of the Master Builders’ Association. The address had been beautifully executed by the artist Fred Anstead Browne, from the office of Messrs. Eade and Johns, Architects, Ipswich. The scheme was carried out on vellum in flat washes, the prominent colours used being green and gold, the groundwork is an unconventional interlacing of the nasturtium, balanced by figures in panels on either side, rising with the growth of the plant used in decoration. The Ipswich Borough Coat of Arms, and the crest of the National Master Builders’ Federation, surmount the whole and are artistically worked in. Evening Star – Friday, 22nd April 1904

Fred’s next appointment was as Chief Assistant Architect to the Essex County Council.


During the First World War Fred enlisted into the Army in January 1916, he served for two years in the Ypres Salient, commanding the 100th Royal Engineers’ Co., and afterwards serving on the staff at General Headquarters. He held the rank of Captain when he was demobilised in January 1919.

In 1921, Fred was appointed Assistant County Architect for Cheshire County Council, under Mr. Harry Beswick, who had been appointed County Architect.

In March 1926, Harry Beswick retired after 30 years of service to Cheshire County Council and on the 18th March, Fred was appointed County Architect for the Cheshire Council.

The preliminary scheme for the new Elton County School had been prepared by Harry Beswick before his retirement. Under Fred’s direction, the contract drawings and all the work were carried out. The new school faced due south for the purpose of reaping the benefit of the maximum amount of sunlight, the windows had been glazed with the new Vita glass, so as to obtain the utmost benefit from the ultraviolet rays. With all the work completed the school opened in August 1927.

At the beginning of 1929, Fred began to feel unwell. During Whitsuntide, he travel to the coastal town of Llandudno in North Wales for the express purpose of resting but feeling no better had to call in medical aid, and a second opinion was obtained. On Tuesday, 21st May an operation was performed. For three weeks Fred lay dangerously ill at “The Crescent,” Promenade, Llandudno until he began to show signs of a turn for the better.

As the Cheshire County Architect Fred designed the Wirral Grammar School for Boys, at Bebington, which opened in September 1931.

In February 1936, Fred had prepared the plans for the building of the new Cheshire County Council offices at the rear of Chester Castle, at an estimated cost of nearly £149,000. During a meeting held Thursday, 13th February 1936, the plans designed by Fred were generally approved and recommended for adoption.

At the end of April 1936, Stanton Road Council School, at Bebington, designed by Fred and built at a cost of £8,000 was opened to accommodate 300 children up to 11 years of age.

Fred was the Architect for the new Police Court Buildings, at Neston – Wirral Division. The designs included magistrate’s rooms, a witness room and two courtrooms. Plus, houses on the site for police sergeants, constables, and garages for police cars.

In 1941, Fred was the Architect for an extension to the nurses’ home at Uplands County Asylum. Six 44-bedded villas – four for men and two for women, plus a kitchen were also designed by Fred and two villas for all the medical staff.


The building work for the new Cheshire County Council offices at the rear of Chester Castle started in 1938 but was paused due to the Second World War. Fred Anstead Browne did not live to see the completion of the new County Offices.


Fred Browne died Tuesday, 19th August 1941, after a major operation at The Clatterbridge County General Hospital, Bebington, Cheshire, of The Union Hotel, Parkgate, Cheshire.

The funeral service was held on Friday, 22nd August 1941, at Neston Parish Church, Cheshire and conducted by the Reverend Frank Selwyn Macaulay Bennett, who also officiated at the graveside. Mr. D.R. Cameron was the organist. There was a large gathering of mourners including many representatives of the Cheshire County Council attended and twenty-four ladies and gentlemen from the County Architect’s Department. There were many beautiful wreaths received. Chester Chronicle – Saturday, 23rd August 1941


Probate to Norah Catherine Browne – widow.


Norah Anstead-Browne died 1971, Christchurch, Hampshire.



Images of mayors courtesy of Mr. A. Gilbert – Ipswich Borough Council.   for census returns, births, marriages, deaths, probates, military records and other historical online records.

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