8909 PTE. N. C. BRIERLEY. LANCS.FUS

 

Norman Clifford Brierley was born in the final quarter of 1897 near Rochdale.  His father was Samuel Brierley (b. 1869 in Rochdale), a cloth dyer. His mother was Jane Taylor (b. 1871 in Rochdale).  Samuel and Jane were married in 1893 and had 3 children, 2 of whom survived: Norman and his brother John William (b. 1906).  In 1911, the family were living at Stubley Mill Cottages, Littleborough, near Rochdale.

 

Norman must have enlisted in 1914 and was therefore under age as he was still only 17.  He was assigned service number 8909 and posted to 1/6 Battalion.  1/6Bn were formed in Rochdale in August 1914 and formed part of the Lancashire Fusiliers Brigade in the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division.  The 42nd was the first Division of the new Territorials to be sent abroad.  They went to Egypt in September 1914, where they were initially involved in the defence of the Suez Canal, and thence to Gallipoli, where they landed on 5 May 1915.  The East Lancashire Division began to embark at Alexandria on 1 May 1915. The first transports left next day, and the last on 6 May. 14,224 men of the Division landed at Cape Helles. The Division was involved in three notable attempts to break out of the Helles bridgehead to capture the dominating heights around the village of Krithia. These attacks took place on 6-8 May (in which only the Lancashire Fusiliers Brigade of the Division took part), 4 June and 6-13 August.  The Division suffered severe losses through out the campaign, for example on 4-6 June, 1/5 and 1/6 Battalions (both of 42nd Division) had 104 officers and men killed.  By August, through battle casualties and sickness, the 42nd Division was reduced to one third of its normal establishment.  Fighting, shelling and sickness continued to take their toll throughout the autumn and Norman was killed in action on 10 November 1915.  It was around the time of his 18th birthday.  He was one of just two men from 1/6 Bn killed that day.

 

Rank:  Private

Service No:  8909

Date of Death:  10/11/1915

Regiment/Service:  Lancashire Fusiliers, 1st/6th Bn.

Grave Reference:  VII. F. 13.

Cemetery:  TWELVE TREE COPSE CEMETERY

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