24426 PTE. F. BRIERLEY. CHESH.R.
Information about Fred is a little speculative. From the SDGW and Soldiers’ Effects records we know he was born in Knutsford and that his father’s name was Samuel. Combining this information and searching the 1911 Census we find a Fred Brierley, b. 1899 in Knutsford, living with his separated father, Samuel, b. 1857 in Knutsford. If this is the right man, Fred was only 16 when he died. Samuel was a plumber and painter and in 1911 he was living apart from his wife whom he had married in 1896. Sam’s wife may have been Sarah Harvey. They had two children, Fred and older sister Annie (b. 1897). In any case, Sam had been previously married to Eliza Jane Ikin (1854-1889) who had died without children.
Fred obviously lied about his age in order to enlist, probably in early 1915. He was assigned service number 24426 and posted to 8th (Service) Battalion. This Battalion was formed at Chester on 12 August 1914 as part of K1 and came under orders of 40th Brigade, 13th (Western) Division. They embarked for Egypt and thence to Gallipoli in June 1915, however, Fred’s Medal Record Index Card dates his Balkans service as starting on 4 October 1915, so he joined with a later draft.
By the time Fred got to Gallipoli the decision had already been taken to evacuate the peninsula but this would not be completed until the end of the year and the beginning of 1916, so in the interim there was continuing trench warfare which could be intense. Fred was killed in action on 27 November 1915. Fred was the only man from his Battalion to be killed that day so he may have been hit by sniper fire, or he may have died of cold in the appalling winter conditions.
Service No: 24426
Date of Death: 27/11/1915
Regiment/Service: Cheshire Regiment, 8th Bn.
Panel Reference: Panel 75 to 77.
Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL