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Arthur Brierley was born in Oldham in 1897.  His CWGC and Soldiers’ Effects Records show that his next-of-kin was his wife Helen, who in 1919/20 was living at Fakenham in Norfolk.  I have no other details of his family background.


Arthur had enlisted in Manchester and was already serving with 2nd Battalion the Grenadier Guards when War broke out and he landed in France on 12 September 1914.  2nd Battalion was formed in August 1914 in Chelsea and was originally part of 4th (Guards) Brigade, 2nd Division.  They landed at Le Havre on 15 August 1914.  On 20 August 1915 they transferred to 1st Guards Brigade, Guards Division.  All the various Guards units were brought together into the single Guards Division in 1915, and they fought at the Battle of Loos (from 26 September 1915) and the Battles of the Somme in 1916, specifically the Battle of Flers-Courcelette and the Battle of Morval.  Arthur was killed on 15 September 1916, the first day of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.  This battle was notable for several things: the first use of the tank, and also the debut of Canadian and New Zealand fighting forces on The Somme.  Flers-Courcelette was also the last time that the British attempted a single massive break through the German defences.  When it failed here, subsequent attacks were on a smaller and more limited scale.


Arthur was 29 years old when he died.  80 officers and men from 2Bn Grenadier Guards were killed on the same day.


Rank:  Private

Service No:  13124

Date of Death:  15/09/1916

Age:  29

Regiment/Service:  Grenadier Guards, 2nd Bn.

Panel Reference:  Pier and Face 8 D.


Additional Information:  Husband of Helen Brierley, of Wells Rd., Fakenham, Norfolk.

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