406904 PTE. G. BRIERLEY. CAN.INF.

 

George Brierley was born on 5 November 1889 in Birmingham.  His father was John Alfred Brierley (b. 1863 in Birmingham), an umbrella maker by trade.  His mother was Elizabeth (maiden name possibly Florence, b. 1863 in Birmingham).  John Alfred died in the 1890s and Elizabeth remarried to someone called Rodgers but he also died and Elizabeth was widowed a second time by 1911 when she is recorded as living in Birmingham with son George and his new wife Ellen (née Clarke, b. 1888 in Birmingham).  George was a brass polisher and finisher.  George and Ellen were married in Birmingham in 1910.

 

It appears George left for Quebec in May 1912, although he was not accompanied by his wife at the time, but she joined him later as when he enlisted in 1915, George and Ellen Brierley were living at 47 Strachan Street, Hamilton, Ontario.

 

George enlisted on 16 April 1915, having previously seen service with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment Special Reserve.  On enlistment he was recorded as being 5’ 5½” tall and having a 35” chest.  He was assigned service number 406904 and posted to 1Bn Canadian Infantry.  Also known as the Ontario Regiment, it formed part of the Canadian 1st Division.

 

In June 1916, the Germans were well aware of the build-up of troops in preparation for an attack on the Somme and they carried out a number of attacks of their own further north in order to frustrate the British plans.  The Canadian Corps were in the area around Mount Sorrel which the Germans attacked on 4 June.  The Germans made some initial advances.  1st Division was called in to carry out counter-attacks on 9-12 June and the Germans finally retreated to their original lines on 14 June.  George was killed in action on 13 June 1916, he was 26 years old.

 

The Canadian Infantry had 1288 officers and men killed between

4 and 14 June 1916.  67 of them were from 1Bn.

 

Rank:  Private

Service No:  406904

Date of Death:  13/06/1916

Regiment/Service:  Canadian Infantry, 1st Bn.

Panel Reference:  Panel 10 - 26 - 28.

Memorial:  YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

Additional Information:  Husband of Ellen Brierley, of 2 Court,

11 House, Hollier Street, Birmingham, England.

This map illustrates the British/Canadian positions (in brown) and the German lines (in red) on 4 June 1916, during the Battle of Mount Sorrel. The Canadians have been driven from several strong points, including Hooge north), Mount Sorrel itself (south), and most of Observatory Ridge (centre)

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