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Addison Brierley was born on 20 October 1897 at Milnrow, near Rochdale, Lancashire, and baptised at Milnrow St James on 27 November.  His father was John Brierley (b. 1858 in Smithy Bridge), a farm labourer and carter.  His mother was Eliza Holt (b. 1858 in Middleton).  John and Eliza were married in 1878 and they had 14 children, 10 of whom survived infancy: Martha Ann (b. 1878), Emily (b. 1879), Betty (b. 1881), Edmund (b. 1883), Ellen (b. 1887), Sarah Emma (b. 1890), Leah (b. 1891), John Taylor (b. 1894), then Addison, and Wilton Redvers (b. 1900).  Addison’s father, John, died in 1902.  In 1911, Eliza was living with 6 of her children at 88 Rochdale Road, Milnrow.  Addison had just started work (aged 13) as a ring doffer in a cotton mill.


Addison was old enough to enlist in late 1915 and old enough to serve abroad in late 1916.  He enlisted with the Coldstream Guards, was assigned service number 19680 and posted to 1 Battalion.  1Bn came under orders of 2nd Brigade in the Guards Division.  It’s likely that Addison joined the unit in early 1917 and would therefore have seen action with the Guards Division during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line (14 March – 5 April), then during the Third Battles of Ypres, at Pilkem (31 July – 2 August), Menin Road (20 – 25 September), Poelcappelle (9 October) and the First Battle of Passchendaele (12 October).  The Guards Division also fought at Cambrai (20 November – 3 December) and it was here on 27 November that Addison lost his life (missing, later presumed killed in action).  That day, 2nd Brigade was at Fontaine-Notre-Dame, 6 km west of Cambrai.  There had been a snow storm the previous night.  As they attempted to advance, they came under heavy machine gun fire as all of the houses in the village had not yet been cleared.  A German counter-attack was beaten off but at the end of the day the Brigade received orders to withdraw to their original position.  1Bn Coldstream Guards had 74 officers and men killed that day, including Addison Brierley, who had just passed his 20th birthday.


Rank:  Private

Service No:  19680

Date of Death:  27/11/1917

Age:  20

Regiment/Service:  Coldstream Guards, 1st Bn.

Panel Reference:  Panel 2.


Additional Information:  Son of the late John and Eliza Brierley, of 88 Rochdale Road, Milnrow, Rochdale.

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