27307 LCPL. J. BRIERLEY. DCM. LANCS FUS.
I can’t be certain about the biographical information about this man. From military records we know his name, rank and service number, and that he came from Swinton. There is a possible candidate: Joe Brierley, who was born in Swinton on 20 March 1884. In 1906 he married Rebecca Shelmerdine (b. 1878 in Pendleton) and they had a daughter, Rebecca in 1907. Joe and Rebecca were back living in Swinton in 1939, so he’s the right age and came from the right town and lived beyond the end of the War. If you have any further information, please get in touch via the Contacts Page.
Joseph Brierley enlisted with the Lancashire Fusiliers, was assigned service number 27307, and was posted to 15th Battalion. 15th (Service) Battalion (1st Salford) was formed in Salford on 11 September 1914 by Mr Montague Barlow MP and the Salford Brigade Committee. This was the 1st Salford Pals Battalion. They moved on 28 December 1914 to Conway and on 21 June 1915 to Catterick. On 21 June 1915 they came under orders of 96th Brigade, in 32nd Division. They moved on 13 August 1915 to Codford and were formally adopted two weeks later by the War Office. Joe landed with his Battalion at Boulogne 22 November 1915.
With his Battalion in 1916, Joe fought on the Somme – at the Battle of Albert, the Battle of Bazentin, and the Battle of the Ancre. They remained on the Ancre in 1917 and continued to fight in the trenches there and then in the pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line. In 1918, they took part in the First Battle of Arras, and later that year in the 100 Days Offensive at the Battle of Amiens, and then at the Battle of Albert and the Battle of Bapaume. They were further engaged in the battles which led to the breaking of the Hindenburg Line, at the Battle of the St Quentin Canal and the Battle of Beaurevoir. It was around this time that Joe was engaged in the fighting for which he would be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
Following this action, the Battalion was further engaged in the Final Advance in Picardy, at the Battle of the Sambre, including the passage of the Oise-Sambre Canal.
Joe was demobilised on 17 February 1919.