Topic: Samuel Hastings Brierly (1895-1974)

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During World War I (1914-1918) Samuel Hastings Brierly embarked as part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, 43rd Reinforcements, Medical Corps. He was my second great uncle - Debbie McCauley.

Samuel Hastings Brierly was born in Onehunga, Auckland, on 14 May 1895 (reg. 1895/5779). His parents were John and Martha Brierly (nee McCauley) who married in Devonport on 19 March 1880 (reg. 1880/3089).

Samuel's grandfather, Henry Brierly, was a Royal New Zealand Fencible who arrived in New Zealand with his wife and family in 1849. On 29 July 1851 Henry received his land grant (5A 158) which bordered Trafalgar Street, Auckland Road, Green Hill Street and Selwyn Street. Henry was elected Warden in 1858. The book The Onehunga Heritage states that 'Henry Lavery, Henry Brierly and John Colledge were the last wardens to serve before the Highway board of the District of Onehunga took over' (p. 30). His biography in The Royal New Zealand Fencibles: 1874-1875 states:

BRIERLY Henry. Berhampore. Henry born 1804 at Roscrea, Tipperary, Ireland, enlisted in 49th Reg. and served 21 yrs, including time at Spain, the Cape, then 12yrs in India and Afganistan, and finally 2 yrs in China. His height 5'10", black hair, grey eyes, fair complexion, a labourer of good character. Discharged at the end of service with a mdal and gratuity, a Sergeant. he married Catherine CONNELL aged 14yrs on 8 June 1829 in India. She was born Youghal, County Cork, Ireland. Her father was also a Sergeant with 49th Reg her mother Eleanor HEALY. Both her parents had died during the plague. Two children Catherine and William were born in India. They returned to Ireland where Thomas a b. 1846, Henry b. 1848 at London. They settled at Onehunga as well as Panmure and in 1853 held a Depasturing Licence at Onehunga. Henry was a committee member of the Provincial Council, he was also a Warden of the Hundred of Onehunga for several terms. The family was of the Church of Ireland and attended the Anglican Church Onehunga. He died at Onehunga on 30 March 1890 aged 86yrs according to the Pay Register and still owned his Allotment at Onehunga plus 60 acres at Maraetai. Catherine died 3yrs later (p. 123).

Samuel was a jeweller and lived in Onehunga.

On 2 October 1918, Samuel embarked as part of the World War I New Zealand Expeditionary Force, 43rd Reinforcements, Medical Corps, on the Matatua to London, England (Service No. 41475).

His next of kin is listed as Mrs G Webb, Forbes Street, Onehunga, Auckland (Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database). This was Samuel's sister Violet Catherine Brierly (1888-1934) who married George Gibson Webb in 1916 (reg. 1916/5513).

Samuel died, aged 78, on 30 June 1974 (reg. 1974/49807). He is buried in Mangere Lawn Cemetery and Crematorium in Auckland (NZSG v.5 Undertaker’s Record).

It was reported that Samuel's British War Medal was for sale via TradeMe in 2009. It is not known who was selling the medals, if the medals were actually sold or, if so, who bought them. The details provided on RootsWeb are as follows:

Full entitlement to medic on ship.
Full Name Samuel Hastings Brierly
Forename(s) Samuel Hastings
Surname Brierly
War World War I, 1914-1918
Serial No. 41475
First Known Rank Private
Occupation before Enlistment Salesman
Next of Kin Mrs G. Webb (sister), Forbes Street, Onehunga, NZ
Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Embarkation Unit 43rd Reinforcements New Zealand Medical Corps
Embarkation Date 2 October 1918
Place of Embarkation Wellington, New Zealand
Transport HMNZT 111
Vessel Matatua
Destination London, England
Nominal Roll Number 90
Page on Nominal Roll 21
Sources Used Nominal Rolls of NZEF Volume IV. Wellington: Govt. Printer, 1919
Seller in Christchurch



Births, Deaths & Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Cenotaph Database (Auckland War Memorial Museum).

Military personnel file (Archives New Zealand).

RootsWeb (2009).

The McCauley Family of Katikati, New Zealand: 1876-2012 (2012) by Debbie McCauley.

The New Zealand Fencibles: 1847-1852 (1997) by Ruth Alexander.

The Onehunga Heritage (1990) by Janice C. Mogford.

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Samuel Hastings Brierly (1895-1974)

Note:Service Number: 41475
First Names:Samuel Hastings
Last Name:Brierly
Date of Birth:14 May 1895
Place of Birth:Onehunga, Auckand
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:30 June 1974
Place of death:Auckland
Place of burial:Mangere Lawn Cemetery
Fathers name:John Brierly
Fathers date of birth:7 November 1853
Fathers place of birth:Onehunga, Auckland
Fathers date of death:27 December 1919
Fathers place of death:Auckland
Mothers name:Martha McCauley
Mothers date of birth:1862
Mothers place of birth:Crossowen, Clogher, County Tyrone, Ireland
Mothers date of death:20 January 1932
Mothers place of death:Auckland
Mothers nationality:Irish
Name of sibilings:Violet Catherine Brierly, Thomas Walter Brierly, George John McCauley, Walter Henry Brierly, Edward John Brierly, Elizabeth Blanche Brierly, and Henrietta Brierly
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)