705118 GNR. J. A. BRIERLEY. R.F.A.
John Albert Brierley was born in the last quarter of 1890 in Manchester. His family lived at that time at 26 Gas Street, New Cross. His father was Thomas Brierley (b. 1851 in Manchester), a joiner’s labourer. His mother was Mary Gerrity (b. 1858 in Manchester). Thomas and Mary were married at New Cross, St Paul’s on 8 June 1876, and they had 5 children: Sarah Ann (b. 1877), Clara (b. 1879), Lilly (b. 1881), Violet (b. 1888) and finally their one son, John Albert. Thomas died in 1896 and Mary re-married. Her new husband was Edward Kellett (b. 1859 in Bolton), a combing machine minder. Edward died in 1907, leaving Mary widowed a second time. In 1911, John Albert was living with his mother at 10 Carruthers Street, Manchester, working as a grey cloth maker-up (‘grey cloth’ is cotton material that hasn’t yet been bleached).
John Albert enlisted in March 1914 in the 2nd East Lancs Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery. He was given service number 7054. His Brigade was later renamed 330 Brigade (2/1 East Lancs). 330 Brigade was part of the second line units forming the 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division which remained at home throughout 1915 and 1916. John Albert was later given a new-style service number, 705118, but he didn’t serve abroad. He was taken into the Northern General Hospital on 12 February 1915, suffering from bronchitis. He was back in the Western General Hospital in June 1915, suffering from nephritis (inflammation of the lungs) and he was then deemed unfit for military service or even home service. He should then have been discharged but it seems this didn’t happen and he remained in hospital (now at the Manchester Royal Infirmary) where he died of his condition on 4 February 1916, aged 25 (not 24 as CWGC states).
Service No: 705118
Date of Death: 04/02/1916
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery
Grave Reference: G. C.E. 1053.
Cemetery: MANCHESTER (PHILIPS PARK) CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Mary Kellett (formerly Brierley), of 22 Wilton Street, Ten Acres Lane, Newton Heath, Manchester, and the late Thomas Brierley.