Mabel Frances (Kirkham) Brown, R.N.


Mabel Frances (Kirkham) Brown, R.N., age 94, formerly of Union Drive, North Kingstown, died on September 12, 2012 at Brentwood Nursing Home in Warwick. She was the wife of the late Arthur Patrick Brown.

Born in a terrace house on Derby Street, Accrington, Lancashire, England on February 21, 1918, she was a daughter of the late Fred and Elizabeth (Franks) Kirkham. She left school at 16 and trained as a nurse at The Victoria Hospital in Accrington. In the autumn of 1939, just after the outbreak of World War II, she moved to the London Chest Hospital to train as a surgical nurse. Fifteen months later she joined the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, and was commissioned as a captain. Early in1942 she was posted to India, and on board the ship on which she was traveling, Mabel met her future husband, Captain Arthur Patrick Brown, from Belfast. They were married in Secunderbad, just north of Hyderbad in India on December 10th that year. Two weeks after their marriage, Arthur was sent behind the lines in Burma. The couple was apart until January 1946. After the war, Mabel returned to England and gave birth to a son, John, in October 1946 in Burnley, Lancashire. The young family moved to Rhode Island in February 1949. Mabel had a cousin, Joseph Booth, who was an officer at Quonset Point. Mabel quickly got a job as a nursing sister at Quonset. Early in 1950 they moved to Philadelphia to be near Mabel’s sister, Marie. They returned to Rhode Island less than a year later, where Mabel got her old job back at Quonset, and Arthur was recruited as a sales clerk at Silverman’s shoe store in East Greenwich. They lived on Maple Drive, North Kingstown. Their second son, Fred, was born in July 1952. Nine years later Arthur’s failing health forced the family to return to England. Mabel continued her nursing career until 1973, when she retired. Eight years later, in 1981, she returned to North Kingstown, where she remained until her death in September. Mabel was an avid Red Sox fan and was the founder of the North Kingstown Philately Club.

She is survived by a son, Frederick J. Brown; a grandson, Kevin Brown, both in England. She was the mother of the late John P. Brown; and the sister of the late Fred Kirkham, Phyllis Taylor, and Marie Kirkham.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, November 13, at 10 a.m. in St. Francis de Sales Church, 381 School Street, North Kingstown. Burial will be in Accrington Cemetery, Lancashire, England.


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