Irvine Dearnaley was born in Ashton under Lyne on April 2, 1884. His father, Irvine Dearnaley, was a professor of music and organist at Ashton Parish Church but he died in 1894 when young Irvine was only 10 years old. The family lived on Fraser St in Ashton and Irvine, the youngest of 5 children, was educated at the parochial school. He started work as a clerk in a cotton mill and became Secretary and Salesman at the Texas Mill, and later the Minerva Mills. By 1914 he was a Yarn Agent and Director of the Harper Twist Company which, among other things, owned the Harper Mill in Ashton. During this time, he became House Secretary of the Ashton Golf Club and was one of several Officers who were members of the club.
He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Territorial Force) on November 14, 1914 and within two weeks was appointed temporary Captain. He joined the 2/9th Battalion in training at Southport and moved with them to Pease Pottage in June 1915. On October 13, 1915 he embarked on His Majesty’s Transport Ship Scotian at Devonport for Gallipoli with 10 other Officers, arriving at Mudros on October 24th and joined the Battalion on Cape Helles on October 26, 1915.
On November 12, 1915 the Battalion moved into the trenches and on November 23, 1915 Captain Irvine Dearnaley was killed in action near Boyes Point. He is buried in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery and commemorated on the Ashton under Lyne Civic Memorial.