Private James Brannick

Private James Brannick
37816 11th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers


James Brannick was born in Manchester in 1889, and while working as a dyer’s
finisher in a bleaching and dying works, he played on amateur terms for Atherton before signing for Everton in November 1912. He made his debut on Boxing Day 1912 at inside forward against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, scoring the opening goal in the 46th minute. He repeated the feat in his next appearance against Notts County at Meadow Lane on 4 January 1913, scoring the only goal and made his third and final appearance in a 1-0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on 12 March 1914.

He continued to play in the reserves, before moving to Scottish club St Mirren in May 1914, where he played 38 games in the 1914-15 season until his enlistment into the Lancashire Fusiliers in Cheetham. By then, his elder brother Richard Brannick had been killed in October 1915 near Ypres and was buried in Ploegsteert Wood. James was killed on 10 August 1917 during the attack on the hamlet of Westhoek, part of the Third Battle of Ypres, better known as Passchendaele. He was 28 years old. James has no known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate in Ypres.

Extract from The Fallen of Everton booklet by Mike Royden and Peter Jones

Memorial panel, Menin Gate, Ypres (Ieper), Belgium

Research by Peter Jones (former member EFCHS)

Private James Brannick    

(Died 10 August 1917)

37816 2nd Battalion, 11th (Service) Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers

James Brannick was born in Manchester in 1889. In the 1901 census he was living in Keats Street in Leigh and was at school. When the 1911 census was taken the family had moved to Collyhurst and 22 year old James was working as a dyer’s finisher in a bleaching and dying works.

James was signed by Everton from amateur club Atherton in November 1912 having made a favourable impression on Everton’s directors. The fee was £75 with £25 to follow if he was retained, and his terms were 50 shillings a week with a £2 bonus. He made his debut on Boxing Day 1912 at inside forward against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, scoring the opening goal in the 46 minute. He repeated the feat in his next appearance against Notts County at Meadow Lane on 4th January 1913 scoring the only goal in the 20th minute. He made his third and final appearance in a 1-0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on 12th March 1914, although he continued to appear for the reserves the following season as they won the Central League title. One of his team mates in the reserves was Scottish left half James Roy, killed at Arras on 23rd April 1917.

After a season and a half he was sold to St Mirren in Scotland with the deal reported in the Liverpool Echo on 1st May 1914. James Brannick enlisted at Cheetham in Manchester and was probably called up in May 1916 as a conscript. His elder brother Richard Brannick had been killed in October 1915 and is buried in Ploegsteert Wood.

James Brannick                       Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium

Remembering James Brannick, private no. of the 11th Battalion, the Lancashire Fusiliers. He was killed on the 10th August 1917 in the attack on the hamlet of Westhoek during the 3rd battle of Ypres. The capture of Westhoek by the 11th LF along with the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles (who included the author John Lucy) was the sole success of the attacks astride the Menin Road that day. James’ body was lost and he is remembered on the Menin Gate.

Not forgotten.

Peter Jones

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