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David Lloyd Brereton (1875-1945)

Norfolk man served with 3rd and 2nd DLI awarded the DSO

David Lloyd Brereton, the son of Joseph Lloyd and Frances Brereton, was born in Little Massingham, Norfolk on 11 September 1875. He had seven brothers and eight sisters and appears to have lived in Norfolk until he became a second lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI) on 12 September 1894. In February 1896 he was promoted to lieutenant and was stationed in Burma with the 2nd Battalion. In June 1903 he was promoted to captain while serving in South Africa during the Boer War. In 1911 he was back in England, stationed at the military barracks in Jesmond and was adjutant of the 3rd Battalion in 1912/1913.

Shortly after the outbreak of war, on 8 September, David arrived in France. He was wounded in March 1915 and, whilst in England, he married Marjorie Frances Cadman on 3 June 1915. He was promoted to major and returned to France. In 1918 was further promoted to acting lieutenant colonel, taking command of the battalion on 5 February. During 1918 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and later mentioned in despatches. In July he was superseded as commanding officer by acting Lieutenant Colonel Turner.

David Lloyd Breteton retired on 23 May 1923 and lived in Newcastle for the next four years. By 1929 he had moved to Penrith with his wife and daughter. Ten years later he had taken up Holy Orders and had returned to Suffolk, where he died in 1945.

His award of the DSO was gazetted on 16 September 1918 and the citation reads:

“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while commanding his battalion. He personally assisted in a bombing attack and established a block, driving the enemy back and capturing four machine-guns. Throughout the operation he set a fine example to his battalion”.

The Durham Light Infantry archival collection at Durham County Record Office includes a letter and a narrative written by David Lloyd Brereton, recording his impressions of the first day of the German Spring Offensive in 1918. Transcripts of these documents are available to be downloaded. Scroll down to “supporting material” at the bottom of this page.

Birth date: 11-Sep-1875

Death date: 8-Jan-1945

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: Norwich House, Panton Street, East Barnwell, Norfolk (1881 Census)
Hyde Park Road, Little Massingham, Freebridge Lynn, Norfolk (1891 Census)
Military Barracks, Jesmond, Northumberland (1911 Census)
13 Kingsland, Newcastle Upon Tyne, (Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Electoral Registers, 1922-1927)
Arthur Street, Penrith, Cumberland ( UK, City and County Directories, 1929)
The Rectory, Lothingland, Suffolk (1939 Register)
The Rectory, Frostenden, Suffolk (England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1945)

Religion: Church of England

Employment: Clerk in Holy Orders (1939 Register)

Family: Father: Joseph Lloyd Brereton
Mother: Frances Brereton (nee Martin)
Siblings: William Lloyd, Anna Frances, Charles, Henrietta Mary, Francis Lloyd, Richard Lloyd, Margaret, Henry Lloyd, Katherine, Arthur Lloyd, Jane, Eleanor Mary, Winifred, Cecily & Phillip Harrington Lloyd Brereton
Wife: Marjorie Frances Brereton (nee Cadman)
Daughters: Margery Jane, Lilian M & Anne Brereton

Military service:

3rd & 2nd Battalions Durham Light Infantry
Major & Acting Lieutenant-Colonel

Medal(s): Distinguished Service Order
Mentioned in Despatches
1914-1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by John Edwards