A Tragic Family Story With A Happy Ending

Linnea Alice Percival was born on the 9th Jan 1915 in Richmond, New South Wales. I have found out little about Linnea’s childhood other than she was flower girl in her sister Elma’s wedding in 1925 and that growing up with a famous pilot brother, Edgar W Percival, she must have spent time around aeroplanes and pilots.  There is much written about Edgar and his career as a pilot and aircraft designer.

In December 1939 Linnea’s engagement to ‘Buster’ Brown (Archibald Frederick Brown) was announced. Was this ‘Buster’ a dashing figure? I like to think he was. A commercial pilot, the well liked Buster, was employed in training RAAF cadets.

The couple were married on the 11th Jan 1940 at St John’s church, Darlinghurst. Archibald and Linnea chose not to go on a honeymoon as he said that, “every pilot instructor was needed to train cadets for the air force.”

Archibald Frederick ‘Buster’ Brown was killed on an instruction flight on the 22nd Jan 1940, just eleven days after their wedding.

I think of Linnea’s shock, and that of their family and friends.  A newly married couple, yes during war time, but he wasn’t a soldier he was supposedly safe here in Australia not overseas.

My romantic heart thinks of love stories and movies, the hero dies, the heroine is heartbroken, will she ever love again?

Yes, in 1944 Linnea marries Edward Alan Cock.  They had a daughter in 1946.  Ted was also a pilot and served in the RAAF until 1950.  They moved around in the airforce living in Queensland and New South Wales.

Nothing more has been found of their life together yet.  I like to think that they lived happily ever after! 

Ted and Linnea died within a few months of each other,  Ted in April 2004 and Linnea in Nov 2004.


  1. Jane

    Hi Kylie, I am that daughter. I read that blog that you wrote many many years ago but I was so horrified to read my mother’s painful story on the internet that I just haven’t responded.
    Now it is 16 years since my parents died and I am finally getting in touch.
    I too am a keen genealogist though not in your class. I read your research with great interest.

    • kira0030

      Dear Jane
      Thank you for commenting on my blog, when I write I do need to remember the people who are still alive. I’m very sorry if I have caused you and your family any pain. If you would like I am happy to take the post down. I’m glad that you found the research interesting.
      Kind regards

  2. Jane Happell

    It’s ok Kylie, I was just shocked to see the sad story in print. Don’t take it down. A few alterations. He was a navigator with 10 Squadron the first squadron to see action during World War 2. He left the RAAF in 1949 having become its senior navigator. He became a farmer, passionate traveller and skier. They did have a happy life.
    They married at St Marks Darling Point.
    Linnea was the youngest of 8 children of farmer William Percival. Her eldest brother Oscar became a doctor (gp) in England, Edgar was the pilot, another brother died at 2. Philip was a farmer. Robert was a gynaecologist in Harley St,London and the Royal London hospital. The girls nedda and Elma married twice too. Elma,Robert and Linnea had one daughter each. Oscar had two children a girl(Hilary) and a boy. Hilary died tragically in a car accident when her two children were very young.

    Kind regards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.