61398 PTE. J. BRIERLEY. MM. MANCH.R.
I don’t have enough information to trace this John Brierley in the Censuses. I know only that he came from Blackburn.
From his military records we know that he served in the Manchester Regiment, 12th Battalion. 12Bn came under orders of 52nd Brigade in 17th (Northern) Division. In 1918, 17th Division was engaged in the fighting during Operation Michael, the first phase of the German Spring Offensive, and then again in the final 100 Days Offensive:
The Battle of Amiens
The Battle of Albert++
The Battle of Bapaume++
The battles marked ++ are phases of the Second Battles of the Somme 1918
The Battle of Havrincourt^
The Battle of Epehy^
The Battle of Cambrai 1918^
The battles marked ^ are phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line
The pursuit to the Selle
The Battle of the Selle^^
The Battle of the Sambre^^
The battles marked ^^ are phases of the Final Advance in Artois
It was probably during this phase of the War that John was awarded the Military Medal but as there are no citations for the MM, we don’t know precisely what the action was. The award was announced in the London Gazette on 11 February 1919.
When the Armistice came into effect at 11am on 11 November 1918 the leading elements of the Division were south east of Maubeuge. Over the next two days the Division was withdrawn to the area west of Le Cateau; on 6 December it moved behind Amiens and went to billets around Hallencourt. Demobilisation began in January 1919 and the Division ceased to exist at the end of May.