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Private Thomas Brennan

Civilian Occupation: Drawer in Coal Mine

thomas brennan
Thomas Brennan was killed in action during the Battle of Chunuk Bair on 10/8/1915. His sacrifice is recalled at the HELLES MEMORIAL and he is recorded in the Chorley Memorial Album in Astley Hall on page CMB/II/17a. He attended Sacred Heart, Chorley.

Family Information
The 1891 Census has him at 25 Standish Street, Chorley: Mary Brennan (36, Head, Widow, Domestic, Born in Chorley), James Brennan (15, Son, Mill Operative, Born in Chorley), Mark Brennan (13, Son, Mill Operative, Born in Chorley), Michael Brennan (10, Son, Scholar, Born in Chorley), Thomas (7, Son, Scholar, Born in Chorley), Patrick Brennan (5, Son, Scholar, Born in Chorley), Ellen Casey (41, Boarder, Rag Warehouse, Born in Chorley).

The 1901 Census MAY have him at 3 Collins Cottages, Stone, Kent: James J Smith (48, Head, General Labourer, Born in High Hatslow, Kent), Sarah A Smith (53, Wife, Born in Hadlow, Kent), Philip Durkin (29, Boarder, General Labourer, Born in Bradford, Yorkshire), Thomas Brennan (19, Boarder, General Labourer, Born in Chorley).
Patrick Brennan died in 1891 Michael Brennan died in 1898.

The 1911 Census has him at 84 Standish Street: Adam France (53, Head, Drawer in Coal Mine, Underground, Born in Chorley). Catherine France (52, Wife, Married 35 years, 7 children, 2 living, 5 dead, Born in Chorley), Thomas Brennan (26, Boarder, Drawer in Coal Mine, Underground, Born in Chorley), Elizabeth Ellen Brannon (30, Wife [of Thomas], Married 5 years, 4 children, 2 living, 2 dead, Born in Chorley), Pat Duffy (30, Boarder [male], Labourer, Coal Mine, Underground, Born in Ireland), James Brannon (3, Boarder [Son of Thomas], Born in Chorley), Annie Brannon (3, Boarder [Daughter of Thomas], Born in Chorley).

Lancashire BMD shows that Thomas Brennan married Elizabeth Ellen France by Registrar in Chorley in 1906. Elizabeth Ellen Brennan remmarried in 1919, to Richard Taylor by Registrar in Chorley. Thomas and Elizabeth Brennan had four children: James (1907), William (1909), Annie (11911) and Thomas (1914).

Service Details
Thomas enlisted into the Army on 10th August 1914 and joined the 6th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 11011. Following training in the UK he sailed to Gallipoli where he was wounded. The 6th Battalion had a few days respite in Mudros in early August 1915 before sailing back to Gallipoli where they would go into action at Chunuk Bair on 9th/10th August 1915. It was during this Battle that Thomas was killed in action.

The official despatch states;

“The two battalions of the New Army chosen to hold Chunuk Bair were the 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. The first of these arrived in good time and occupied the trenches. Even in the darkness their commanding officer, Lieut-Colonel H.G. Levinge, recognized how dangerously these trenches were sited, and he began at once to dig observation posts on the actual crest and to strengthen the defences where he could; but he had not time given him to do much.

The second battalion, the Wiltshires, were delayed by the intricate country; they did not reach the edge of the entrenchment until 4am, and were then told to lie down in what was believed, erroneously, to be a covered position. At daybreak on Tuesday 10th August, the Turks delivered a grand attack from the Chunuk Bair Hill-Q against these two battalions, already weakened in numbers, though not in spirit, by previous fighting.

First our men were shelled by every enemy gun, and then, at 5.30am, were assaulted by a huge column consisting of no less than a full division, plus a regiment of three battalions.

The Loyal North Lancashire men were simply overwhelmed in their shallow trenches by sheer weight in numbers, whilst the Wiltshires who were caught in the open, were literally almost annihilated. The ponderous mass of enemy swept over the crest, turned the right flank of our line below, swarmed round the Hampshires and General Baldwin’s column, which had to which had to give ground and were only extricated with great difficulty and very heavy losses.

Towards this supreme struggle the absolute last two battalions from our general reserve were now hurried, but by 10am, the effort of the enemy was spent. Soon their shattered remnants began to trickle back, leaving a track of corpses behind them, and by nightfall, except prisoners or wounded, no live Turk was left upon our side of the slope.”

Other notes
John Brennan [CMB/I/213b], Patrick Brennan [CMB/I/213a] and Thomas Brennan [CMB/II/17a] were brothers. Walter Bamber [CMB/I/217a] married Winifride Brennan, their sister, in 1914 in Chorley by Registrar.

CMB Lists as “Brennon”, service number as 1101 and incorrect date of death as 10/8/1916. CWGC and NMB give as “Brennan” and also as date of death 10/8/1915 Gallipoli. The Medal Roll Index Cards and Medals and Awards Rolls both give his name as “Bennon” but with the correct Service Number.

The Register of Soldiers’ Effects gives “Brennan” and the number 11011. His death was “officially accepted as on 10/8/1915 at Sulva Bay. His widow is names as Elizabeth E Taylor.

Rank: Private
Service No: 11011
Date of Death: 10/08/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.

Adam Cree
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