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Charles Edgar Brierley was born in the first quarter of 1898 at Rusholme in Manchester.  His father was William Ashton Brierley (b. 1861 in Newton Heath), a baker’s shop assistant.  His mother was Agnes Anderson (b. 1861 in Manchester), a nurse working for the Nordlinger family.  William and Agnes were married in 1891 and had two children: Alice (b. 1896) and Charles.  In 1911, the family was living at 27 Grange Street, Rusholme, and Charles was still at school.


Charles enlisted in 1915 or 1916 in the Manchester Regiment.  He was assigned service number 252014 and posted to 2/6 Battalion.  2/6Bn came under orders of 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division and they landed in France in February 1917.  That year, they participated in Operation Hush on the Flanders coast (26 June – 25 September), and then at the Battle of Poelcapelle (6-10 October) (part of the Third Battle of Ypres (or Passchendaele)).  The award of the Military Medal was announced in the London Gazette on 14 January 1918, so it seems to me likely that the action for which he was awarded the medal took place at Poelcapelle.


The Division suffered severe losses during the early phase of the German Spring Offensive (March 1918) and was out of action for much of the rest of the year, returning to participate in the capture of Cambrai (October 1918) and the final advance in Flanders. The Division was demobilised in March 1919.


We know that Charles survived the War but I have found no records for what happened to him or when he died.

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