SSM Joseph Brearley DCM

Joseph Brearley is wearing the uniform of a lance-sergeant in the 11th Hussars which rank he held in 1903. He transferred to the 13th Hussars in 1907 and reached the rank of Squadron Sergeant-Major before winning the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery in World War 1.

The following information was sent to us by Janet Mullins and Barbara Kelly, grandchildren of SSM Brearley who emigrated to Australia under the Settlement Scheme. Barbara's and Janet's father researched and wrote a book about Joseph Brearley's military life and subsequent experiences in Australia. This is intended for publication at some future date.

5 Jun 1899 Enlisted at the age of 18 years and 2 months.
2 Aug 1900 Received horse riding certificate after recruit training at Canterbury
27 Oct 1900 Posted to 11th Hussars and embarked for Egypt
9 Nov 1900 Joined the Regiment at Abbassiyeh Barracks near Cairo.
22 Jan 1901 Queen Victoria died : Accession of King Edward V11 announced.
26 Mar 1901 Promoted to Lance Corporal
3 Oct 1902 Promoted to Corporal
20 Apr 1903 Regiment left Egypt for Ireland (Curragh).
2 May 1903 Promoted to Lance-Sergeant
1 Apr 1904 Promoted Sergeant.
11 Oct 1905 Passed Musketry Course at Hythe UK
11 Apr 1906 Regiment left Curragh for Dublin.
20 Sep 1907 Transferred to 13th Hussars (India) and sailed with wife for Bombay. Joined Regiment at Secunderabad along with several other re-inforcements in the same draft.
13 Nov 1914 Left Meerut to join the Cavalry Corps in France.

Extract from the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 29 August 1917.

"Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal....1150 Squadron-Sergeant-Major J. Brearley 13th Hussars. "For conspicuous gallantry in action. He went back from the firing line and both caused to be brought up, and brought up himself, urgently needed Hotchkiss gun ammunition. Later, when his squadron-commander was wounded, he took command and by his ability and coolness, succeeded in bringing the squadron out of action with all arms and accoutrements."

Lance-Sergeant Brearley is wearing the same type of uniform as the privates, ie dark blue tunic with yellow cord decoration. The yellow cord looks dark in the photo due to the chemical process involved at that period in the history of photography. His sergeant stripes are gold with an edging of cherry coloured cloth. The collar badges are silver and can be seen in detail on the main regimental page of the 11th Hussars. His cap is similar to the officers' style and can be seen on the uniform page: Officer's Pillbox Cap 1895
It is cherry coloured with a wide gold lace cap-band and gold decoration on top. The chinstrap is black patent leather.

His buttons are brass, also the clip which attaches the yellow cap-line to his fourth button. In full dress this is attached to his fur busby. The cane he carries would probably be a pale yellow ochre with brown leather handle. The yellow stripes down the outside seams of his cherry trousers would also appear dark but would probably be seen in a colour image just on the outer edge of his left leg. There is a marksman's badge on his left sleeve which is crossed rifles. These would be embroidered in brown and white thread on a cherry coloured cloth backing. He holds kid leather gloves in his left hand which are white.

11th Hussars details | 13th Hussars details

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by Stephen Luscombe