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William Brierley

Date of death: 11.11.1914
Area: South Elmsall
Regiment: King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Husband of May Clara Brierley
Rank: Private
Service number: 3359

War Service

William must have joined up early in the war and was a private in the 5th Battalion of the KOYLI. His service number was 3359.His service was shortlived and coincidentally he died exactly 4 years before the armistice on 11th November 1914. At the time of his death the 5th Battalion were in reserve and based somewhere on the East Coast, possibly near Whitby. They didn’t go to France until 1917. William is buried at Moorthorpe Cemetery in a Commonwealth War Grave. The cause of his death is not known.

Family Life

William was my grandfather on my mother’s side of the family. He was married to May Clara and both were born in West Bromwich in the West Midlands. They were possibly canal boat people. They had four children: my mother, Alice May Searle, William, Victor and Ralph.
Around 1914 they moved north to South Elmsall and lived at Cambridge St, Moorthorpe where William presumably worked in the mine.
William died in November 1914 and May Clara was left with four children. She must have had plenty to do to keep the family clothed and fed. At the time of his death she lived at 24 Second Avenue, Upton. She is remembered as a very smart and capable lady. Sadly, her son Ralph died young in the 1920s. She is buried with her husband at Moorthorpe.

William Brierley's gravestone William Brierley's gravestone
May Clara Brierley wearing a smart jacket and hat May Clara Brierley, William's wife
May Clara Brierley wearing a smart coat and cloche hat May Clara Brierley

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