9544 PTE. W. BRIERLEY. LANCS.FUS.
I have not been able to discover conclusive biographical information about this member of the clan. He is William Brierley, and according to SDGW he was born in Oldham, lived in Newton-Le-Willows, enlisted at Warrington in the Lancashire Fusiliers, was assigned service number 9544 and posted to 10th Battalion. According to the Register of Soldiers’ Effects, he was married, his wife’s name was Mary, and they had children. I have not been able to find the family in the Censuses; however, some family trees suggest he may have been born in 1892 and worked as a coal miner, and he and Mary had two children – Olive (b. 1911) and Alice (b. 1913).
10th (Service) Battalion was formed at Bury in September 1914 as part of K2 and came under orders of 52nd Brigade, 17th (Northern) Division. William landed with his Battalion at Boulogne on 15 July 1915. The Division spent an initial period of trench familiarisation and then moved to hold the front lines in the southern area of the Ypres salient. On 31 August, the Battalion left reserve and returned to trenches it had previously occupied between Vierstraat and Wyteschaete on the Ypres Salient. The War Diary reports that on 5 September, at 11am, “A” Company was shelled in their trench and suffered many casualties: 14 men killed and 33 wounded.
Rather unusually for a War Diary, the names of the casualties that day are recorded, and they included Pte William Brierley. If, as suggested above, he was born in 1892, then he was 23 when he died.
Service No: 9544
Date of Death: 05/09/1915
Regiment/Service: Lancashire Fusiliers, 10th Bn.
Grave Reference: II. E. 16.
Cemetery: RIDGE WOOD MILITARY CEMETERY