Arthur Brearley was the son of William Henry Brearley and his wife Elizabeth, nee Kershaw.William was a wood turner and the family moved around the Bradford area, taking up residence at 48 Valley Street in Shipley around 1895.Arthur, the youngest of nine children, was born 1898 in Shipley. In 1904 they were living at 1 Butterfield Street in Shipley. 1905 found them at 43 Carr Lane in Windhill, moving to 59 Carr Lane around 1915. In 1911 Arthur was a scholar and part time doffer.When working at the Victoria Works in Shipley, Arthur enlisted on 29 December 1914 as a Driver with the Royal Field Artillery. On 27 October 1916, the Shipley Times & Express reported:
“Driver Arthur Brearley, R.F.A., the son of Mr and Mrs William Henry Brearley of 59 Carr Lane, Windhill, is at present in a military hospital in Liverpool, suffering from malarial fever.“He is only 18 years of age and when he joined on the outbreak of the war he had only just attained the age of 16. He has served in Salonica.“Mr and Mrs Brearley have two other sons with the colours, Driver Albert Edward Brearley (22) A.S.C. now in France, and Driver Joseph Brearley, R.F.A. who is in training at Wangford.”
The illness clearly took a heavy toll on Arthur because on 6 December 1918, less than a month after the armistice, we read:“The funeral took place with full military honours at Windhill Crag Cemetery, following a service at the Windhill Parish Church, of Driver Arthur Brearley, R.F.A., youngest son of Mr and Mrs W H Brearley of 59 Carr Lane, Windhill, and who died of double pneumonia.“The coffin, which was covered by a Union Jack, was carried on a gun carriage. Three volleys were fired over the grave and the ‘Last Post’ was sounded.
“Mr and Mrs Brearley were present at the Wardown Hospital, Luton, when their son died.“He enlisted on 29th December 1914, was invalided home with malaria from Salonica in September 1916 and was 20 years of age at the time of his death.“In civil life he was employed at the Victoria Works, Shipley, was a member of the Windhill Parish Church choir and was also connected with the local friendly society.“Two of his brothers are at the front.”Thanks to Colin Coates for his help with the research into Arthur’s life