Born in Ballsbridge, Ned, though employed, volunteered aged 18. His Battalion were called, the Shining Eight. They were part of the 48th Brigade attached to the 16th (Irish) Division, with which Jesuit, Fr. Willie Doyle, was serving when killed in August 1917.
Private Brierley won three awards for bravery while serving with the 16th (Irish) Division. The first, at the battle of Ginchy, the second award at Passchendaele (3rd Battle of Ypres).
Transferred to the Royal Engineers near the end of 1918 and addressed as Sapper Brierley, he won his third award during the final Allied assault on the Germans.
Edward’s diary, dated Thursday, March 21st, states, ‘Offensive started, hold Brown Line until 11:00 pm from 5:30am.’
During this massive and final German assault, 1,062 Dublin Fusiliers were killed, wounded by gas and shells, or captured.
Ned Brierley survived and returned home, resuming his job with the Pembroke District Council. He played football with Shelbourne A.F.C. during 1925/26 and with St. Mary’s United A.F.C. of the Leinster Football League.
That season, Edward won a runners-up medal playing for St. Mary’s in the Edmund Johnson Cup and the following season, a runners-up medal in the Metropolitan Cup.
On September 17th, 1924, Edward married Mary Hayden at St. Joseph’s, Glasthule, Co. Dublin.
They had seven children, one of whom, Noel, said, “My father was a very quiet, hard working man who never spoke about his experiences in the war.”
Edward died from a heart attack while working, on November the 23rd 1955.
Here are some personal items Edward acquired over his lifetime…