A Birchall, Died a POW in Germany

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on December 24, 2019 by The Dude

This Death Penny belonged to Sidney Burchell, a Private in the 7th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Regiment. Sydney died from illness while a prisoner in Germany on the 26th of June 1918. This is likely not his actual death date as the POW rolls have him dying on the 20th of June. Sidney enlisted in Chichester, initially as TR/10/6344 in a Training Reserve Battalion, probably the 23rd based in Shoreham, although Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1919 probably erroneously states the 2nd. Later he became Rifleman A/205284 in the 7th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps, part of the Army’s 14th Division.

Sidney was taken prisoner on 21 March 1918 and held at Camp Stendal, Prussia. He died of kidney infection while in captivity on 20 June 1918 aged 19. [Some current records state he died on 26 June which is likely to be the date of his burial.]

He was buried in grave V.A.11 at the Hautmont Communal Cemetery. Hautmont had been captured by the Germans in the early days of World War 1. The communal cemetery was used by the German troops for the burial of their dead. The Allied prisoners who died in the local German hospitals were buried there too by the authorities of the town.

Sidney is also commemorated on the Lodsworth war memorial.

Commemorative Medal of the 1939-1945 War with Allemagne, Liberation and Engage Voluntaire Bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , on December 7, 2019 by The Dude

This is a French medal awarded to all participants in recognised formations, fitted with a range of bars depending on the type and theatre of service. In this case the bars are “Allemagne” for all regular forces involved in the German campaign of 1944-1945, the “Liberation” bar for the French Campaign of 1944 and the “Engage Voluntaire” bar to indicate a voluntary enlistment.

Another WW1 Birchall Orphan

Posted in Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on December 7, 2019 by The Dude

This lonely little WW1 Victory Medal orphan belonged to M2-033111 Private A.J. BURCHELL of the Army Service Corps. Arthur James Burchell entered France on the 18th of July 1915 and was therefore entitled to the 1914-1915 Star in addition to the BWM and Victory Medal. His M2 prefix on his service number indicates that he was an electrician.

A Birchall Killed In Norway

Posted in Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , , on December 7, 2019 by The Dude

This modest little group belonged to John James Burchall-Ward, 997361, 114 Squadron. John was a Sergeant-Observer in the RAF Volunteer Reserve. He was killed in action on the 27th December 1941 when the Blenheim he was helping to crew was shot down into the sea at the island of Vaagso in Norway during Operation Archery. He is buried in the Møllendal Church Cemetery in Bergen.

A Birchall who didn’t deploy

Posted in 1945 + Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on September 21, 2019 by The Dude

Surprising this week, after a drought of a few months, a plain old garden-variety British General Service Medal (1962). The recipient is Gunner R. Birchall 23381785, Royal Artillery. The lack of any of the 14 possible theatre bars means he didn’t deploy from the UK during his service.

German WW2 Luger P-08

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , , on August 4, 2019 by The Dude

The Luger pistol is a prohibited firearm up here north of the border, due to its barrel length of 100mm. Because I came to Canada so late I was unable to be grandfathered into the pistol license required to own one. As a substitute I own a WW1 & WW2 “cock and click” dewat as well as the long barrelled LP-08 Artillery Luger. But I always wanted the real deal. So I went the long route of sourcing a 105mm barrel from the US and then locating a Luger up here to get re-barrelled and reclassified as restricted.

This is it, a 1937 Mauser made S/42 marked Luger P-08. It came with a spare magazine, a takedown tool marked WaA63 (correct for Mauser) and a period holster from 1937.

British SMLE Enfield No1 Mk3*

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , , , on July 20, 2019 by The Dude

I have always had a wee hard-on for the Enfield No1 Mk3. It was the first rifle I owned as a child and I have always wanted to own one again. A friend of mine is a nut for Enfields and owns far too many. I asked him to sell me a no-issues wartime rifle to go with the No4 & No5 I already had. He came up with this one. Battle issued, made in 1941/42 by Lithgow in Australia. Sighted for high velocity MkVII ammun ition, this rifle went into New Guinea with the Australian Forces. It was returned to Lithgow in June 1945.