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Frederick Brierley was born in Oldham on 12 May 1890.  His father was George Thomas Brierley (b. 1857 in Oldham), a fishmonger.  His mother was Mary Jackson (b. 1860 in Bollington, Cheshire).  George and Mary were married in 1883 and they had 9 children, five of whom survived infancy: Arthur (b. 1884), George Thomas (b. 1886), Fred, Minnie (b. 1894) and Elise (b. 1898).  George (snr.) died in 1894.  In 1911, Mary was living with Arthur, Fred, Minnie and Elsie at 314 Waterloo Street, Oldham.  Fred at the time was working as a ‘big piecer’ in a cotton mill.  I don’t know the details but shortly after the Census it appears Fred emigrated to New Zealand.


Fred enlisted in New Zealand in 1914.  His residence is given as Te Karaka which is near Gisborne on New Zealand’s North Island.  He enlisted with the Wellington Regiment and was issued service number 10/1423.  After initial training, the Wellington Regiment boarded ship for Egypt in October 1914, sailing via Albany (Australia), Colombo, Aden and Suez and disembarking at Alexandria on 3 December.  They were initially involved in the defence of the Suez Canal but later began preparations for the invasion at Gallipoli. 


The engagement in which Fred lost his life was at Chunuk Bair on 8 August 1915.  As on a number of previous occasions, an initial attack, this time by the New Zealand forces, seems to have taken the Turks completely by surprise, but inflexibility in the field orders and poor communications with headquarters prevented the commanders from taking advantage and the Turks were given time to reorganise and mount a counterattack.  The New Zealand forces had 504 men killed that day, including Fred Brierley, who was 25 years old.


Rank:  Private

Service No:  10/1423

Date of Death:  08/08/1915

Age:  25

Regiment/Service:  Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F.

Panel Reference:  19.


Additional Information:  Son of Mrs. Mary Brierley, of 43 Littlemoor Lane, Oldham, England.


Fred was a cousin of 28912 Private George Brierley, 11Bn Manchester Regiment, killed on 3 October 1918.

Fred Brierley NZ.jpg
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