Edward Trevor Brown

Edward Trevor Brown


Edward Trevor Brown (E.T. Brown) was born in the village of Cromford in Northumberland in 1905. His father was the village stationmaster on the old Great Central Railway and E.T. never forgave the railway company for leaving his family destitute after his father died prematurely.

He left school at age 14 and worked for a while in pharmacy in Bristol until the mid 1920’s when he arrived in Bulawayo. Not long after arriving, he went to Umtali to work for David Ruxton Chemists in what was then Main Street (later taken over by Ted Ross).

By 1940 he set up a photography business in the Cecil Hotel building. He owned his owned printing press which led to crude variations in the postcards he published.

Edward was the local photographer for many, many years and it seems likely that he learnt the trade from his wife, Elizabeth Armstrong, a celebrated South African artist. He worked closely with the police (accumulating a large collection of grisly photographs in his archives) and also did a lot of aerial photography for the Surveyor General’s Office.

He eventually brought out another another man from the UK, Ronnie Winch, to work for him. Ronnie later opened up Windsor Studios in Umtali.

Edward at one time turned his hand to prospecting in Mozambique but it was his property in Toronto (a suburb in Umtali) that could have been his bonanza in life because of its slate deposits. However,  he turned down an offer for the property that would have seen him sitting pretty.

A prolific letter writer to the press, he had many theories one of which he was to expound on for many years. He was a ‘barrack room” lawyer of note and was locked in combat with the council at every opportunity and on most occasions he emerged the victor.

He died in 2001, aged 96 at Trust House, Umtali.


Other Publishers


  • Journal of the Rhodesian Study Circle No.147
  • Journal of the Rhodesian Study Circle No.200
  • Mountain Digest, August, 2001.
  • Walter Herdzik
  • Keith Brodovcky
  • Richard Barnett
  • George Stewart
  • John Irving
  • Geoff Brakspear
  • Keith Harrop
  • Jono Waters