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Remembered Today:

Gnr James BRIERLEY RGA d. 22/02/1916


christine liava'a

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christine liava'a

Remembering Today:

Gnr James BRIERLEY, 1458 Royal Garrison Artillery, who died aged 34 on 22.02.16. Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium

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What's happened to CWGC? Can't open it!

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LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen,

Belgium

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Location:Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery is located 11.5 kilometres west of Ieper town centre, on the Boescheepseweg, a road leading from the N308 connecting Ieper to Poperinge. From Ieper town centre the Poperingseweg (N308) is reached via Elverdingsestraat, then over two small

roundabouts in the J. Capronstraat. The Poperingseweg is a continuation of the J. Capronstraat and begins after a prominent railway level crossing. On reaching Poperinge, the N308 joins the left hand turning onto the R33, Poperinge ring road. The R33 ring continues to the left hand junction with the N38 Frans- Vlaanderenweg. 800 metres along the N38 lies the left hand turning onto Lenestraat. The next immediate right hand turning leads onto Boescheepseweg. The cemetery itself is located 1.5 kilometres along Boescheepseweg on the right hand side of the road. From Calais, take the motorway A16 signposted Dunkerque/Lille. At Dunkerque take the motorway signposted Lille/Ypres, the A25. Leave the motorway at Junction 13, the village of Steenvoorde. Follow the D948/N38 signposted Ieper/Poperinge. After approximately 8-10 kilometres Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery will be signposted off to the right.

Please Note: Ypres/ Ieper are the same place: Ypres (French spelling), Ieper (Flemish spelling) Commission signposts are green and white

Historical Information: The Hazebrouck-Poperinghe railway line and the Poperinghe-Ypres road formed the main communication between the bases and the Flemish battlefields, and Lijssenthoek, lying close behind the extreme range of enemy shell-fire, was a natural position for clearing hospitals.

It was first used by the French 15th Hopital D'Evacuation. In June, 1915, it began to be used by British Casualty Clearing Stations; and between that month and the Armistice it became the second greatest British War Cemetery. From April to August, 1918, the Casualty Clearing Stations fell

back before the German advance, and Field Ambulances (including a French Ambulance) took their places; and the French graves in Plots XXVI, XXVII, and XXXI recalled the French regiments that were sent to Flanders at that time. Twenty-four British graves in Plot XXXI were brought from isolated positions near Poperinghe after the Armistice. There are now nearly 10,000,

1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site.

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Name: BRIERLEY, JAMES

Initials: J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Gunner

Regiment: Royal Garrison Artillery

Unit Text: 39th Siege Bty.

Age: 34

Date of Death: 22/02/1916

Service No: 1458

Additional information: Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Brierley, of Banks Rd., Heswall; husband of Edith Brierley, of 2, Elton Cottages, Grange Mount. Heswall. Birkenhead.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: IV. D. 24.

Cemetery: LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY

SDGW states:

Lancashire & Cheshire [RGA (T.F.)]

Born Neston, Cheshire

Enlisted Liverpool

A look under SDGW for RGA – Lancashire and Cheshire TF shows:

Cpl Francis Gregory

Pte Thomas George Muncaster

Both men were KiA on the 21.2.16 and have no known grave. Both are remembered on Panel 9 at Menin Gate. We may speculate, therefore, that Brierley was injured on the 21.2.16 and that it was an explosion (shell/misfire?) that was responsible.

There are no further casualties until May 1916 for this unit.

It is interesting to note that these three casualties were the first (in action) for this unit. So I am guessing that this was their first encounter, although they had been in France since at least 1915.

In the 1901 cenus, our man is shown as being a fisherman. He was part of, I believe, a large family – all the men were also fisherman: Charles, John, James, Joseph, Reginald, Francis, Samuel (father) although some of these men may have been James’s cousins/uncles/brothers. None of these men appear to have died in the war, although some of them would have been too old to join up, and fishing was also a ‘protected’ occupation.

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