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John Senior Brierley was born in the second quarter of 1898 at Habergham Eaves, near Burnley.  His father was Joseph Brierley (b. 1857 at Rimmington, Yorkshire), a cotton weaver and later grocer and retail herbalist by trade.  His mother was Alice Senior (b. 1865 in Dewsbury).  Joseph and Alice were married in Habergham Eaves in 1881 (their marriage certificate gives their respective ages as 27 and 17) and they had 7 children.  Their first son was John (b. 1882) but he died, possibly in 1883.  Their surviving children were: William (b. 1886), Mary (b. 1890), Fanny (b. 1892), Harry (b. 1892) then John Senior and finally Sarah (b. 1902).  In 1911, the family were living at 41 Parker Lane, Burnley.  John was 13 and still at school.


John would have turned 18 in the Spring of 1916, about the time conscription was being introduced.  He signed up and was assigned service number 40523 and posted to 6Bn Northamptonshire Regiment.  6Bn came under orders of 54th Brigade in 18th (Eastern) Division.  Although we can’t be sure, it seems likely that John would have joined the battalion sometime in 1917, in which case he would have fought with them through some of the harshest fighting of the year, as 18th Division were engaged in the Third Battle of Ypres, at Pilkem Ridge and Langemark and then in the First and Second Battles of Passchendaele.


It was on the second day of the German Spring Offensive that John was killed in action.  26 Other Ranks from 6Bn met their deaths that day, 22 March 1918, including John Senior Brierley.  He was just 19.


Rank:  Private

Service No:  40523

Date of Death:  22/03/1918

Regiment/Service:  Northamptonshire Regiment, 6th Bn.

Panel Reference:  Panel 54 to 56.


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