18439 PTE. L. BRIERLEY. LANCS.FUS.
Levi Brierley was born in the first quarter of 1885 in Bury, Lancashire. His father was James Brierley (b. 1862 in Bury), a waste sorter by trade. His mother was Hannah Mary Ashworth (b. 1863 in Bury). James and Hannah were married young, in 1880, and had a daughter Sarah Ellen (b. 1881), then Levi. It’s not clear what happened, but in 1891, Sarah and Levi were living with their grandparents (Hannah’s mother and step-father, John and Ruth Willan). Shortly afterwards they moved to Burnley, where Sarah sadly died in 1896, aged 15. Levi continued to live in Burnley where, in 1905, he married Priscilla Sagar (b. 1886 in Burnley). In 1911, Levi and Priscilla were living at 63 Ann Street, Burnley, where Levi was a coal miner. Married only 6 years they already had 4 children: Agnita Emily (b. 1906), Hannah (b. 1908), Edith (b. 1909) and Ruth (b. 1910). They would have another two children: Richard (b. 1912) and Duella (b. 1914).
Levi enlisted on the outbreak of War at Burnley in the Lancashire Fusiliers, being assigned service number 18439, and was posted first to 3rd (Reserve) Battalion then transferred to 2nd Battalion. 2nd Battalion was part of 12thBrigade in 4th Division. They landed in France on 20 August 1914 and Levi was sent out to join them in France on 30 January 1915. With 4th Division, they fought at the Second Battle of Ypres (April-May 1915).
From 4 November 1915 to 3 February 1916, the Brigade was moved to form part of 36th (Ulster) Division. In February 1916, the Brigade returned to 4th Division.
Levi was killed in action on 17 February 1916. He was one of 6 men from 2Bn killed that day. The Battalion had returned to the trenches on 15 February, near Colincamps, west of Serre. On the 17th, the enemy shelled the front line trenches with 5.9” howitzers, trench mortars and canisters. The Company on the left of the front line (Levi was in “C” Company) was heavily shelled (casualties 6 men buried, 2 wounded and a few suffering from shell shock). Levi was 30 years old and left a wife and six children.
Service No: 18439
Date of Death: 17/02/1916
Regiment/Service: Lancashire Fusiliers, "C" Coy. 2nd Bn.
Grave Reference: III. H. 7.
Cemetery: SUCRERIE MILITARY CEMETERY, COLINCAMPS
Additional Information: Husband of Priscilla Brierley, of 51 Rumley Road, Burnley.