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Albert Brierley was born on 17 May 1888 at 78 Chorley Road, Walton Le Dale and baptised at St Leonard’s on 17 June. His parents were Thomas Brierley (b. 1854 in Walton Le Dale), a labourer in a cotton mill, and later bricklayer’s labourer, and Sarah Ellen Slater (b. 1857 in Preston). Thomas and Sarah Ellen had married at St Leonard’s on 9 June 1877 and had 11 children, one of whom died in infancy. The 10 survivors were: James Henry (b. 1877), Selina (b. 1879), Burdett Barratt (b. 1881), Samuel (b. 1883), Mary Elizabeth (b. 1886), then Albert, May (b. 1892), Francis (b. 1893), Lily (b. 1895) and finally Ethel Lavinia (b. 1897).

In 1911, Albert was still living with his parents and 8 siblings at 55 Avenue Bank, Chorley Road, Walton Le Dale and at the time working as a manager of a butcher’s and provisions shop. The following year on 29 May 1912 he married Gladys Redfern (b. 1888 in Bakewell, Derbyshire), and on 6 December 1913, Albert and Gladys had a son, Ronald. They lived at 118 Victoria Road, Walton Le Dale.

Albert signed his attestation form on 9 December 1915 in Walton Le Dale, stating that he preferred to serve in the ASC but he was assigned to 4Bn, L.N.LAN.R. (a reserve battalion) with initial service number 4/7372. He was 5’ 7” tall and had a 35” chest and weighed 147lbs. He was given the new-style service number 203593 in 1917. He remained at home in the reserves until he was called up on 7th January 1917 and after further training he was posted to France on 18th April 1917 arriving at Étaples on 19 April and he was posted to 10th Bn on 7 May 1917 and joined them in the field two days later.

The 10th Bn had recently been engaged in the Battle of Arras, where it had sustained heavy casualties, so by the time Albert joined them they were in fact in what was considered to be a ‘quiet’ sector, near Wytschaete, south of Ypres. Nevertheless, they were in and out of the line throughout the summer and were always subject to raids, snipers and artillery attacks. Albert was killed in action on 22nd July 1917. He was 29 years old.

Gladys received Albert’s effects including his identity disc, a safety razor and case, 4 letters and a 9ct gold ring, together with money to the value of £1 3s 1d. At the time she was living at 41 Chorley Road, Walton Le Dale. She was awarded a pension of 18s 9d per week for herself and her son and she received a war gratuity of £3. After the War, Gladys returned to her home town and lived at Station Road, Great Longstone, Bakewell, Derbyshire.

Rank: Private
Service No: 203593
Date of Death: 22/07/1917
Age: 29
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 10th Bn.
Grave Reference: B. 6.
Cemetery: TORREKEN FARM CEMETERY NO.1

Two other men from 10th Bn were killed the same day:
33849 PTE. G. F. KING, L.N.LAN.R
201732 PTE. H. WILSON, L.N.LAN.R

Albert’s older brother, Burdett Barratt Brierley, joined the Military Mounted Police, and was posted to France on 9th July 1915. He was promoted to Lance Corporal and discharged on medical grounds on 9th September 1918. Burdett married Grace Wren in 1905 and they had 5 children: Harold (b. 1905), Albert (b. 1907), Robert (b. 1909) and twins Thomas and Mary (b. 1911). He died in 1927.

Bill Brierley

Bill Brierley

Before taking early retirement in 2007 and returning to his native Lancashire in 2009, Bill Brierley was head of the School of Languages and Area Studies at the University of Portsmouth.Bill has researched his own family history and has developed a further interest in World War 1 especially as it impacted on the villages of Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge, where his family originates from.Bill has also displayed his work at Lostock Hall library and contributed to other displays at Leyland Library and South Ribble Museum.
Bill Brierley

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