Reginald Brown

Reg Wingfield Spence Brown did his growing up in a gracious, well-presented Queenslander situated on Stanley Terrace, Taringa in Brisbane. Sadly, his mother, Irish-born Margaret, and his father, Hugh, suffered the heartbreaking loss of 3 little boys, probably from typhoid or diphtheria. This left only Reg and his three older sisters; two of whom never married but remained secure in the knowledge they could always rely on their brother’s support.

Reg - police-court photo published in the Truth: Feb 9, 1947
Reg, an above average student, attended Taringa School. He later studied accountancy while working in Townsville at Dalgety’s, a stock and station agent. He liked riding his motor bike and enjoyed spending time on the sheep and cattle properties. Once back in Brisbane, his work history included Corrie & Co, John Hicks & Sons, T & G Assurance Co and finally Secretary/Auditor for the Brisbane Associated Friendly Society Medical Institute (BAFS).

Reg inherited his Irish grandfather’s love of timber. He was renowned for the beautiful furniture he crafted with his grandfather’s carpentry tools. Some pieces, decorated with intricate carving, have been handed down through the family.

Reg tried to join his mates to fight for his country during WWI but was rejected due to a troublesome inguinal hernia. He suffered from this condition his whole life and eventually resorted to wearing an uncomfortable support truss. He did, however, willingly volunteer his services as an air raid warden during WWII.

Reg married Eva, the dark-haired daughter of Richard and Mary Ann Cocks (nee Winterford), owners of Cocks & Sons grocery store on Sherwood Road, Toowong.
Eva Brown
at the family home in St Lucia
Mary Ann 'Annie' Cocks (nee Winterford)
image courtesy Valerie Herbertson (nee Brown)

Mary Ann’s parents built the Regatta Hotel on Coronation Drive in Toowong and to this day the Winterford name remains synonymous with this iconic watering hole.
Regatta Hotel - image courtesy State Library of Queensland

Reg and Eva raised their children Melva, Ian and Valerie in the family home on Ryan's Road, in riverside St Lucia. Reg was a family man, first and foremost, but he also possessed a strong sense of community. Various charitable organisations would benefit from his accountancy skills and every Christmas morning the Brown family visited the Montrose Childrens’ Home to join in the celebrations. Reg was a Freemason with Toowong Lodge No. 59 and was involved with the Protestant Alliance Friendly Society of Australasia (PAFSOA) on Moggill Road.

Melva, Ian and baby Valerie 
Ian, Melva and Valerie

Reg Brown is remembered by his daughter, Valerie, as a gentle father. Ian, his son, describes him as loving and protective. They believe he was a wonderful husband, they know he was an excellent provider and it was obvious to all, he was overjoyed at becoming a grandfather. But above all, Reg is remembered as the man who sat at the dining room table most evenings, head bent, shade low on his forehead, working with figures written up by hand in large leather bound ledgers.

This was until 11 January, 1947 when life took an ill-fated turn.
The final devastating chapter of Reg Brown’s life has been brought to light in the book Lingering Doubts.

Reg with son Ian, daughter Valerie and family pets
at their St Lucia home - late 1930s


  1. Fantastic book - interesting read

  2. Who would do crimes in busy hours? He said that the victim asked for a time for her drama play, which was just corroborated by the old lady claiming she was in the library that afternoon and heard screams and curiously asked the librarian wahats the noise about, the librarian said it was a rehearsal of drama play, which supported that the accused told the police that she left for drama rehearsal. The 3 of the witness was policeman, and witnessed it was disturbing noise,so as law enforcer they should have attended what's the noise about. It is possible that the accused were attacked sustaining that specific injuries to look more guilty, and as for the accused if he did he should have throw or burned his clothes, clothes which was the first evidence that the police asked when they arrived at the house of the accused. In my opinion that this case was political, to have a perfectly high success rate for the police and made to it be a slam dunk! The grandkids are just meticulous to study the case that they discovered that there was a reasonable doubt!
    Hi I'm Camille Danganan from Philippines, I stumbled video clips from YouTube and I am interested and would very much like to read your book,,, I hope I could get a copy,
    What you did could not bring the time when your grandfather took his life becubec of shame but it could bring back the dignity for your grandfather, there are people that may think you're biased because you're family but there are people who believe that you uncovered truths that may be used today to be better,more investigative,more alert, and careful,
    God bless and may your family get fair justice

  3. Dear Camille, how I missed your insightful comments 2 years ago I just don't know. As a rule I receive a comment alert but this didn't seem to happen...You are asking all the right questions, questions the police should have addressed and amazingly all you know of the case is from watching YouTube! Sadly our grandfather's trial will never be re-examined but our family feel deep appreciation to people like you, who support us in raising doubt about Reg Brown's guilt and the appallingly shallow justice process of the day. Thank you. If I can help you obtain a copy of Lingering Doubts please email me on


We look forward to your comments and feedback or any information you may wish to share about our grandfather's case.