BROWNLEY, John Pte. 15844

John Brownley was born in Chorley in August 1871, the only son of Joseph and Mary of 6 Wright Street in Chorley; he had a brother, James and two sisters, Jane and Amelia.

John enlisted in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on the 21st March 1892, serving in South Africa from 1899 to 1902, being awarded the Queen’s South African medal with four clasps (Belmont, Modder River, Orange Free State and Transvaal) and the King’s South African medal with clasps 1901 and 1902. He returned to the U.K. in 1902 and spent two years on the Reserve List before being discharged from the Army at Preston on the 20th March 1904.

He had married Mary Jane Bateman at Trinity Wesleyan Church in Chorley on the 22nd November 1902, setting up home at 10 Stephenson Street in the town; they had one son, James Walter, born in 1907.

John enlisted in the Chorley Pals on the 22nd September 1914, at the age of 42 years and 11 months, being given the number of 11/7441 (which was eventually changed to 15844). He served in Suez and in France with the Pals until being transferred to the Labour Corps as Private 478667 on the 15th December 1917. A few weeks later, on the 28th December, he returned to the U.K., being admitted to a hospital in Sidmouth in Devon due to sickness. He was in hospital again on the 15th April 1919 at the East Leeds War Hospital when he was demobilized from the Army.

Before the war John had worked as a Weaver and worshipped at St. James’ Church; he died in Chorley of a heart condition on the 30th January 1922.