According to his attestation papers dated April 16, 1917 at Toronto, Francis John (Frank) Brown was born on March 25, 1899 in Humber Bay, Ontario. He listed his mother Roxanna Grace Brown, Humber Bay as his next of kin. He was unmarried, a student and had no previous military experience. He was 18 years of age and stood 5 feet 5 3/4 inches in height. He had dark grey blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion. He had eight moles on his face, one on his left side, one on his stomach, two on the front of his neck and one on the back of his neck. He was a member of the Church of England.
In the 1911 census the family appears on two pages. He is the son of John and Roxanna Brown. The family was living on Salisbury Avenue, Humber Bay (present day Park Lawn Road).
In the 1921 Toronto city directory he is listed as a student living with his father John G. Brown. John Brown his listed as a market gardener living on the east side of Salisbury Avenue.