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47378 PTE. D. N. BRIERLEY. K.O.Y.L.I.


David Naylor Brierley was born in the second quarter of 1878 at Northowram, near Halifax.  His father was Alfred Brierley (b. 1852 in Northowram) who originally worked as a hoist minder in a woollen mill but was subsequently a commercial traveller.  His mother was Mary Jane Hanson (b. 1846 in Halifax).  Alfred and Mary Jane were married in 1873 and they had two children: Mercy Hannah (b. 1874) and David.  Mary Jane died in 1873 and Alfred died in 1912.  By 1901, David had moved to Beverley and was working as a grocer’s assistant.  In 1908, David married Grace Annie Rollett (b. 1869 in Sheffield) and in 1911 the couple lived at 173 Grimesthorpe Road, Sheffield.  By now, David was working as manager of Maypole Dairy Company at Lea.  According to some military records, David and Grace had a child but I don’t have the details.


David probably attested in 1915.  He was assigned service number 47378 and was posted first to 12th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry then to 1/4 Bn.  12th Bn were a miners/pioneer battalion who went to France in March 1916.   1/4Bn came under orders of 148th Brigade in 49th Division.  David was probably called up in 1916 and sent to France in 1917.


In 1917, 49th Division fought at Operation Hush and later at the Battle of Poelcapelle (9 October).


In 1918, the Division fought during the second phase of the German Spring Offensive – Operation Georgette or the Battle of the Lys (7-29 April).  Specifically, they were engaged at Estaires (9-11 April), Messines (10-11 April), Bailleul (13-15 April), the First Battle of Kemmel (17-19 April) and the Second Battle of Kemmel (25-26 April).  On 7 April, the Bn was in the line near Gheluvelt and they were relieved the following day.  On 10 April, they were moved to Neuve Église where they attempted to hold the line in the face of the enemy assault.  Neuve Église fell to the Germans on 13-14 April and on 15 April the Bn withdrew to Kemmel Hill.  It was during the fighting for Neuve Église on 13-14 April that David was killed.  He was 40 years old.  From 11-14 April, 1/4Bn had 75 Other Ranks killed; only 8 bodies were recovered for burial.


Rank:  Private

Service Number: 47378

Date of Death:  14/04/1918

Aged: 40

Regiment/Service:  King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 1st/4th Bn. 

Grave/Panel Reference: Panel 108-111

Cemetery/Memorial: TYNE COT MEMORIAL

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