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Francis Brindle was born in Bamber Bridge in the second quarter of 1896.  His father was Robert Brindle (b. 1864 in Chorley), a cloth looker by trade; his mother was Emma Chadwick (b. 1864 in Adlington).  Robert and Emma married in Chorley in 1887.  In the mid 1890s, they lived briefly in Brindle and Bamber Bridge before returning to Chorley by 1900.  They had 12 children in all but only 6 of them survived infancy.  In 1911, the 6 surviving children were living with their parents at Gale Moss Farm, Halliwell Lane, Chorley.  The surviving children were: Thomas (b. 1889), William (b. 1892), Ann (b. 1894), then Francis, then Mary Magdalen (b. 1902) and finally Leo (b. 1903).  In 1911, Francis, at 14, was working as a weaver.


Francis enlisted at Chorley in the early days of the War and joined 11Bn of the East Lancashire Regiment – the Accrington Pals.  Recruitment to 11Bn was started on 14 September 1914 and ten days later had reached its full compliment of 1,100 men.  About half the recruits came from Accrington, the rest from Burnley, Chorley and Blackburn.  On the opening day of the Battle of the Somme, the Pals attacked the fortified hilltop town of Serre, and were mown down by machine-gun fire, and lay ‘like swathes of cut corn at harvest time.’  This was the first major engagement of 11Bn and its impact on the town of Accrington was devastating.  On 1-2 July 1916, 421 officers and men from the East Lancashire Regiment were killed, including 237 from 11 Bn, almost all the rest from 1Bn.  Francis was 20 years old.


Francis’ father died the following year, aged 53.  Before he died, Robert received £5 1s 3d, being his son’s effects, and later a War Gratuity of £8 was paid, divided between Francis’ mother and his sister-in-law Ethel.


Rank:  Private

Service No:  15359

Date of Death:  02/07/1916

Age:  20

Regiment/Service:  East Lancashire Regiment, 11th Bn.

Panel Reference:  Pier and Face 6 C.


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