1821 PTE. A. H. BRIERLEY. AUS.INF.
CWGC records 1821 Pte. Alwyn Howard Brierley, which is why he is included in our lists, but his name should more accurately be recorded as Alwyn Huard Brierly. The entry in De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour summarises his life:
7th Brigade was part of the Australian 2nd Division, which arrived in Gallipoli in September 1915. A second wave of assaults had been carried out at Suvla Bay in August and fighting there reached a climax at Scimitar Hill on 21 August and after this failed, British and Imperial Forces began to focus on how best to withdraw and evacuate the peninsula. Conditions during the summer had been appalling because of heat, flies, and lack of sanitation. On 15 November there was a deluge of rain and again on 26/27 November a major rainstorm flooded trenches up to 4 feet deep. This was succeeded by a blizzard of snow and two nights of heavy frost. At Suvla, 220 men drowned or froze to death and there were 12,000 cases of frostbite or exposure. In surprising contrast to the campaign itself, the withdrawals from Gallipoli were well planned and executed, with many successful deceptions to prevent the Turks realising that withdrawals were taking place. There were minimal losses, and many guns and other equipment were also taken off. Nevertheless, many men would succumb to the effects of illness and exposure, including Alwyn Brierley who died on New Year’s Day 1916. He was 38 years old.
Service No: 1821
Date of Death: 01/01/1916
Regiment/Service: Australian Infantry, A.I.F., 25th Bn.
Grave Reference: III. B. 299.
Cemetery: PORTIANOS MILITARY CEMETERY, LIMNOS, GREECE
I discovered an odd coincidence in researching this profile. I used to live in Portsmouth and used a pub called the Sir Robert Peel as my local. When the pub closed I bought a maritime print from the landlord which was displayed on the pub wall. I hung it in my lounge. Some years later, I moved house and needed another print to hang alongside the one I already had and looked to see who the painter was. It was Sir Oswald Walters Brierly, who I now discover had a son who died in the Great War. I still have two of Sir Oswald’s prints hanging on my lounge wall.