Archive for the Medals Category

A Birchall killed on the 1st Day of the Somme

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on August 5, 2020 by The Dude

A sad little orphan 1914-15 Star. Impressed to Private William Burchell, 17691, of the Royal Berkshire Regiment. William entered France on the 15th of October 1915 and was killed in action on the 1st of July at Thiepval on the Somme. I have some German ball shrapnel from the same area. Thiepval was an abattoir on that day although the Berkshires reached their objectives on schedule. William was 33 on the day he was killed. He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial. Coincidentally a Sergeant in the Lancashire Regt named identically was also killed at Thiepval on the same day.

A Birchall Masonic Medal

Posted in 1919-1938 Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on February 23, 2020 by The Dude

Along with the military medals, occasionally drifts a Masonic medal. This one is the 1930 Royal Masonic Hospital Charity Jewel from 1930. It was awarded to Worshipful Brother J. Birchall of the Robinson Lodge (2046) in Maidstone, Kent.

A Birchall in the Liverpool Regiment

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on February 22, 2020 by The Dude

Another ordinary pair of Squeak and Wilfred, the two most common ww1 service medals. These belonged to Private 202702 John Birchall of the Liverpool Regiment.

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.

A Birchall Electrician in WW1

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on January 9, 2019 by The Dude

This trio are a 1915 Star, Allied Victory Medal and British War Medal awarded to Private C. Burchell (M2-048414). I haven’t found his first name yet but his army number indicates that he served as an electrician in the Army Service Corps. His record shows he entered France on the 16th of March 1915 and that he was released into the Class Z reserve on the 21st of April 1919. I hope he had a decent war.

A Birchall, dead at Cawnpore

Posted in 1850-1900 Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , , on August 14, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis group epitomises why I collect medals to both my surname and its variants. In the 19th Century, surnames were still quite fluid. With many people still being illiterate in the mid-century (~40% of men), the spelling of the surname often depended on the hearing of the recorder. In this group we have a Crimea Medal with Sebastopol Bar and an Indian Mutiny Meda, the latter impressed to SERGT TIMY BIRCHELL, 82 REGT. On the medal roll for Crimea he is recorded as Birchill. On the Regimental roll for India he is spelled Birchile. Either way, Timothy Birchell, 2232, Sergeant in the 82nd (Prince of Wales Volunteers) Regiment of Foot, served and died at Cawnpore, India on the 16th of December, 1857. The Mutiny medal is typical of many casualty medals, never worn and in almost mint condition.

Another Birchall in Malaya

Posted in 1945 + Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on June 4, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomIt has been a good month for finding Birchalls on the intertubes. This GVI GSM is impressed to 23522812 PTE J.BIRCHALL RAOC. Because this is a GVI issue GSM, Private Birchall must have served early in the Emergency, prior to 1956. Interesting side note, it was called the Malayan Emergency because if it had been a war, then insurers would have been able to refuse claims for damage.

NW Europe and Korea Group to a Birchall

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, 1945 + Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , on April 15, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomIn my never ending quest to find and reunite medals to my family surname, usually it’s months of dross with the occasional excellent find. This group falls into the latter. This group is impressed to W.O. 2nd Class F.Birchall, 5.D.G and Lt. F Birchall, 5.D.G.

Frederick served in N.W. Europe, landing through Normandy with the Regiment in July, 1944. He fought through Belgium, the Roer and into Hamburg in 1945. After returning to the U.K., the Regiment was sent to Korea, where Frederick was awarded an MID as well as a short service commission as Lieutenant.

A Career Navy Birchall in WW1 & WW2

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , , on November 11, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis orphaned British War Medal is impressed to K6690 F.BURCHELL L.STO R.N. Luckily today is Remembrance Day, so the Ancestry military records are free. He was hard to track down because the naming of the medal is in error. It belonged to George Victor Burchell, born in Preston in 1896. He joined the Royal Navy as a boy of 12. He served in both WW1 and WW2, however, all of his service post WW1 was on shore stations like HMS Defiance and HMS Vivid. He had postings on HMS Eagle both in 1918 as well as the next Eagle in the mid 30’s. His trade was listed as jeweller/watchmaker and since most of his berths were at torpedo training establishments, I think he most likely serviced the mechanisms in torpedoes. His rank on the medal was Leading Stoker, his final rank in 1942 was Leading Petty Officer.

A Reunited Orphan Birchall

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on September 19, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis single is a WW1 Victory Medal belonging to William Birchall. It is impressed to 20177 Pte. W. Birchall Essex R. William deployed to the Balkans on the 19th of September 1915. He was discharged on the 30th of March 1917 under category 16, “No longer fit for war service”, in this case because of wounds. William was also entitled to the Silver Wound Badge 152379.

What is fantastic about this humble medal is that I already had his 1914-15 Star from back in 2013 so getting these back together is very satisfying. I am still missing the BWM but my search goes on.

A Birchall Driver in the ASC

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on August 4, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis lonely little Victory medal was awarded to Thomas Birchall, 2529, a Driver in the Army Service Corps in WW1. I can’t find much on him but I can see by his entitlement card that he was awarded the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal in 1920. Both this and his British War medal are lost to time unfortunately.

A Self-Award For A Victorian Birchall

Posted in 1850-1900 Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , on July 19, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomHere’s an odd one. We have our share of military imposters today, slipping into a uniform and slapping on a bunch of undeserved medals in order to gain the eye of the ladies. They call them “Walts”, after the deluded central character in the 1939 book, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”.

Now it appears I have one from the 19th Century. This medal, a Crimean Medal with Sebastopol, Inkermann and Balaklava bars is inscribed to Captain Basil Herne Harper Birchill 1854-5-6. Researching Basil tells me that he was a member of the minor gentry from Middlesex. His surname was Diprose at birth but he was able to change his name to Birchall upon the death of Lt Col. Herne Harper Burchell in 1858 (probably due to either a remarriage of his mother or an illegitimate issue). He did indeed serve in one of the County militia, the Royal Bucks. However as far as I can see he never made it to the Crimea. I see a record of him  connected to the British Italian Legion which replaced British troops in garrison on Malta during the Crimean War. And he seemed to be busy in organisations like the Cinque Ports Corps (basically a bunch of rifle clubs) and the Royal Geographical Society. However I sincerely doubt that he left Britain and this medal is a self award. Pompous little classist pommie prick. I would say I’d plant my boot into his nuts if I met him today.

 

Western Front Group to a Birchall

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on May 13, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomA pretty common trio to a English soldier on the Western Front. The group is named variously to PTE. or L/CPL J.BURCHELL 3553 R.LANC.R. John Burchell entered France on the 6th of October 1915 and is therefore entitled to the 1914-15 Star. He doesn’t show up on the CWGC website so it appears he made it through alive.

A Birchall In Victorian Egypt

Posted in 1850-1900 Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , on April 15, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomA nice tidy Anglo-Egyptian War group belonging to one of the Birchall/Burchell/Birchell’s out there. This one is impressed to H.T.BURCHELL PTE. R.M.L.I. Harry Thomas Burchell (No 2473) enlisted in the Chatham Division of the Royal Marines on June 11th 1883. He served until discharged on 6th November, 1894. The Egypt medal has bars for Suakin (1st March to 14th May, 1885) and Tofrek (22nd March 1885). I have another Birchall from the same campaign here.

A Birchall in the Malaya Campaign

Posted in 1945 + Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on April 14, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomIn my never-ending quest to find all the Birchall or similar named groups and singles on the internets, there is this example in the post this week. Named to 23416889 SIGMN.J.I.BIRCHELL R.SIGS., it is a EIIR General Service Medal with a bar for the Malayan campaign against the communist insurgency. This post-colonial bush war ran from 1948 to 1960 and was one of the few successful attempts to keep the communists out of S.E.Asia.

A Birchall with Talent in WW1

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on October 16, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomInteresting partial group here. These two medals are part of a group belonging to Arthur H. Birchall, 2596. He was enlisted in 1915 as a Lance Corporal in the Durham Light Infantry and ended the war as a Lieutenant Colonel in the same regiment. His BWM and MC are lost to time. Something that is also interesting here is that another partial group of his, sans MC, recently went through the DNW auction house before being snapped up and relisted on EBay at an exorbitant markup.

Commemorative Medal for the Ethiopian Patriots who Resisted the Italian Invasion and Occupation of 1935 to 1941

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)The last of the Ethiopian medals for the moment, this is a circular dark bronze medal with loop and isosceles trapezium-shaped ribbon bar bearing an Amharic inscription; the face with the heads of two warriors facing right, a flintlock rifle and bugle below, all within a cartridge belt; the reverse plain stippled; on a replaced ribbon in the Ethiopian national colours.

The medal was created after the Ogaden war of 1977-1978 with Somalia to commemorate the Ethiopian patriots who fought against Italian invasion and occupation between 1935 and 1941. It was designed by Colonel Tibebe Desta of the Ethiopian Air Force, a noted artist and imperial portrait painter, who organised the Grand Expo in Addis Ababa after the war with Somalia and was noted for his design of coins and medals both during the Imperial period and the Derg.

This example has the incorrect ribbon and is missing its suspension bar. Still a rare medal in any condition.

The Distinguished Military Medal of Haile Selassie I

Posted in Valour Medals with tags , , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)Another Ethiopian medal, this one a bronze trilobe medal with wreath and ribbon ring suspension; the face with a traditional Ethiopian portrait of Emperor Haile Selassie I wearing the Ethiopian Crown and circumscribed with the Amharic inscription in Ge’ez ‘Haile Selassie the First’; the reverse with crossed batons supporting a Trinity star circumscribed with an Amharic inscription in Ge’ez, on original ribbon mounted for wear with a clip with maker’s mark ‘MAPPIN & WEBB LD’ with one bronze palm bars denoting a second award of the medal. The medal was created to reward those engaged in military action against the invading and occupying Italian forces in the years 1935 to 1941 and was awarded both for acts of bravery in the face of the enemy and for long and distinguished service.

The Military Medal of Merit of the Order of St. George

Posted in Valour Medals with tags , , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)This medal is part of my small accumulation of WW2 Ethiopian medals. The Military Medal of Merit of the Order of St. George is a bronze trilobe medal with Trinity star and ribbon ring suspension; the face with an image of St. George on horseback slaying the dragon below the Amharic inscription ‘Hayal Kokebe Kibr’ (luminious star of victory); the reverse with a Trinity star with three crossed spears imposed above the date ‘1923’; three small edge knocks to the reverse, lower left, lower right and right; on original ribbon. The medal was instituted in 1923 and was the highest military decoration of Imperial Ethiopia, awarded rarely for acts of great bravery and outstanding military leadership in times of conflict.

Ethiopian 1941 Star of Victory Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on September 3, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)In 1941, with the help of British and Commonwealth troops attacking from British Somaliland, the Ethiopians were able to defeat and drive the Italian occupying army from their soil. I am interested in the East African campaigns in the Sudan, Somaliland and Ethiopia, especially the Battle of Keren.

The medal was made by Mappin & Webb, in London, and is in the shape of a Coptic Cross, surmounted by an Imperial Crown. The Star of the Trinity is in high relief in the centre. A loop is attached to the top of the medal, with a hanger, and a multi-striped red, yellow and green riband. The inscription in Amharic on the medal reads: “Star of Victory 1933 [Ethiopian calendar]. Unforgettable Achievement” and on the reverse “Star of Victory 1941”.

ethiopian_men_gather_in_addis_ababa_heavily_armed_with_captured_italian_weapons_to_hear_the_proclamation_announcing_the_return_to_the_capital_of_the_emperor_haile_selassie_in_may_1941-_k325

Ethiopian men, carrying captured Italian weapons, gather in Addis Adaba, in May 1941, to hear the announcement of the return of the Emperor Haile Selassie.

70th Anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials Commemorative Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Jubilee Medals, 1945 + Medals with tags , , , on July 26, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_RussiaThis is a commemorative medal celebrating the 70th anniversary of the IMT trials of the major criminals in Nuremberg starting in 1946. The medal is Russian in origin but since I don’t see it listed online as an official commemorative I am going to assume it’s an unofficial “tin” medal. The words on the reverse mean “Fascism will not stand”.