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Family Links

There are inevitably family links between some of the men who were killed - cousins, brothers, and even a father and son.  Here are the ones I have discovered:

1177 Pte. Richard Brierley (AIF) and 1415 Pte Thomas Henry Brierley (KLR) are brothers.  Both were killed in 1916.


232 CQMS Thomas Brierley fought at Gallipoli and died at Alexandria in August 1915.  He had a son, 305106 Sgt. Edward Ernest Brierley who served in the same battalion (1/8 Lancashire Fusiliers), and who survived the War.  They landed together at Gallipoli on 5 May 1915. Tom’s cousin is 88218 Pte. George Bateman Brierley who served with 76MGC and was killed near Arras on 14 June 1917.


21/711 Pte. James Brierley is the nephew of  27206 Pte. Herbert Brierley.  They both died in 1917, within 6 months of each other.


13076 Pte. Benjamin Brierley and 308196 Pte. William Harold Brierley are cousins.  Ben was killed on 26 April 1917 and Bill just over a month later on 30 May.


Capt Hugh Colley Brierley and 2nd Lt Roger Christian Brierley are cousins; they were killed within three weeks of each other in 1917.


203532 Pte. William Brierley was the  adoptive father of 24682 LCpl Harry Moss and uncle of 6867 PTE. T. LONGWORTH and 17838 PTE. W. LONGWORTH.


240199 LCpl Charles Ashley Brierley was killed during Operation Hush in 1917.  His brother John also served.  He had two step brothers who served alongside him in the West Yorkshire Division, John and Thomas Durnan.  John Durnan was awarded the Military Medal, and he had a son, also John, who was killed in Normandy in 1944.


35948 George Cyril Brierley and 40277 Fred Brierley were brothers.  George was killed in 1917, Fred the following year.  They had another brother Leonard who was also in the Army.


Cpt William Hunstone Brierley and OrdSmn John James Hubert Brierley were brothers, from Tideswell, Derbyshire.  William was killed at Polygon Wood in September 1917, aged 20.  John was a Naval Reservist, only just old enough to enlist in September 1918; he died ‘from disease’ a month later while still in training.


203320 Pte. John James Brierley (Lancs Fusiliers) and 32747 Pte. Charles William Brierley (Royal Warwicks Reg) were brothers.  They were killed within six months of each other in 1917.  John was 23, his brother 22.


29389 Pte. William Brierley (Royal Scots) and 14159 LCpl. Hugh Hallworth (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) were step-brothers.  Hugh was killed on 31 July 1917, at Pilckem; William was killed on 12 April 1918, during the German Spring offensive.  They were both aged 21.


10/1423 Private Frederick Brierley fought with the New Zealand Infantry and was killed at Gallipoli on 8 August 1915.  His cousin was 28912 Pte. George Brierley (Manchester Regiment), who was killed at Épinoy on 3 October 1918.  Their families came from Oldham.


294337 Lance Bombardier Fred Brierley (RGA) was taken prisoner at Cambrai in November 1917 and died in a prison camp near Stettin on 6 May 1918.  He was a cousin of 3026 Corporal Arthur Brierley (AIF) who was killed on 26 September 1917 at Polygon Wood in the Third Battle of Ypres.  Their families came from Rochdale.


556241 Sapper Joseph  William Brierley (Royal Engineers) and 7509 Private Charles George Brierley (Northants. Reg) were cousins.  Joe died, possibly of flu, on Boxing Day 1918.  Charles was killed at Neuve Chappelle on 10 March 1915.  This branch of the family came originally from Northamptonshire (where Charles was born) but Joe’s father had moved to London in the 1870s and Joe was born in Peckham.

17913 Pte Jesse Brierley (Royal Marines Light Infantry), killed at sea in 1915, was the brother of 18961 LCpl Arthur Brierley (Sherwood Foresters), who was awarded the DCM in September 1918.

I think 15248 Cpl Frank Brierley MM and 59689 Pte Jesse Brierley may be brothers.  Both men served in the Machine Gun Corps and although they were in different Companies they were both in Salonika in 1916.  Jesse died in November 1917.  Frank by this time was fighting in the Palestine campaign, during which he was awarded the Military Medal.


478508 Private John Brierley and 443783 Private Henry Brierley were brothers, born in Euxton, near Chorley in Lancashire, but who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.  John was killed on the Somme in 1916, Henry died at home just after the end of the War.  I researched all the men in chronological order and when I first researched John I found no family information and it was only when I researched Henry and his next of kin, in the extensive Canadian records, that I discovered they were brothers.  Their father – Thomas Brierley – was born in Brindle in 1853.  Brindle is a village in Lancashire, next door to Bamber Bridge, where my family come from.  So I looked further back to see if there might be any family connection.  To my amazement, and delight, I found that Thomas’s great grandparents – John Brierley (1757-1824) and Elizabeth Parkinson (1757-1824) – are my 4x great grandparents.  So Tom’s children (including Henry and John who lost their lives in the War) are my 3rd cousins twice removed.

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