Archive for the Medals Category

A Royal Navy Birchall Stoker in WW1

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on March 11, 2022 by The Dude

This pair of WW1 service medals appeared off EBay. They are impressed for K46500 R. BURCHALL STO.1 R.N. Richard was born on 30th September 1892 in Wigan in Lancashire. He was a bricklayer by trade. His K prefix on his number shows that he was transferred from the Army upon enlistment to the Royal Navy on the 19th of October 1917. His first ship was HMS Vivid on the 31st of December 1917. His final posting was on HMS Dido, a cruiser, before being discharged on the 19th of February 1919.

A Birchall, Too Old for the Trenches

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on January 15, 2022 by The Dude

This is a lonely little orphan Victory Medal for Pioneer James Burchell of the Royal Engineers. The medal is engraved 110501 PNR.J.BURCHELL R.E. James enlisted voluntarily on August 14th 1915 at the age of 46. While this seems old for the time he did indicate 5 years prior service with the Royal Sussex Regiment. James was retired sick and no longer fit for service on the 31st of July 1916. He was entitled to the SWB #236,996.

A Birchall MID in the RAFVR

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , on November 21, 2021 by The Dude

An almost lost group here to Leading Aircraftsman R.Birchall (1155198) in the RAFVR. The group came with a Welsh Regiment cap badge so I assume he was originally enrolled in that unit before transferring to the RAFVR. He was awarded an MID oakleaf in June 1945.

Atlantique Bar for the Commemorative Medal of the 1939-45 War

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , on October 8, 2021 by The Dude

This is the bar issued to French service members who served in the Atlantic Theatre between September 3rd 1939 and May 8th 1945. It was intended to be placed on the Commemorative Medal of the 1939-45 War, like this example here.

A Birchall in the Royal Fusiliers in France

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on October 6, 2021 by The Dude

This group is the usual suspects for a mid war soldier in France. These three were awarded to Alfred Charles Burchell. They are impressed to K-1445 PTE A Burchell, R.Fus. Alfred disembarked into France on 17th November 1915. On the 8th of July 1919 he was released into Z Pool, basically a civilian again.

Another Birchall in the Liverpool Regiment

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on October 6, 2021 by The Dude

This lonely little Orphan is the BWM, or British War Medal for Private Harold Birchall. The medal is impressed to 330057 PTE. H. BIRCHALL . L’POOL R. At some point Harold was transferred to the Labour Corps and issued a second number, 325057.

An Old Contemptible In The Sussex Regiment

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on October 6, 2021 by The Dude

Here’s a nice WW1 group to an early arriver in France. Impressed to 9095 L.Cpl H.W.BURCHELL 2/R SUSS:R. & L-9095 T.SGT H.W.BURCHELL R.SUSS.R. This man landed in France on the 12th of August 1914 and has the November Bar on his 1914 Star to show it.

Commemorative Medal of the 1939-1945 War with Extreme Orient Bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , on April 3, 2021 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 bar is “Extreme Orient” for operations (including in the Indian and Pacific oceans) between 7 December 1941 and 15 August 1945.

An ISM to a Birchall in the Post Office

Posted in Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on April 3, 2021 by The Dude

In my never ending quest for medals named to my surname I inevitably roll past non-military items. Like Masonic medals or in this case an Imperial Service Medal. This one is named to Evelyn Gertrude Maud Burchell, a telephonist in the GPO. She was gazetted in February 1946.

Commemorative Medal of the 1939-1945 War with Mer Du Nord Bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , on February 14, 2021 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 bar is “Mer Du Nord” for Naval Operations in the North Sea between September 3rd 1939 and May 8th 1945.

Commemorative Medal of the 1939-1945 War with Mediterranee Bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , on February 14, 2021 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 bar is “Mediterranee” for Naval Operations in the Mediterranean between September 3rd 1939 and May 8th 1945.

Commemorative Medal of the 1939-1945 War with Manche Bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , on February 14, 2021 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 bar is “Mache” for naval Operations in the English Channel between September 3rd 1939 and May 8th 1945.

An Orphan for a Birchall MM Winner

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on January 14, 2021 by The Dude

When I find a Birchall impressed medal out there on the Intertubes I am always pretty stoked. Sometimes it’s an orphan, a medal that has been split from its group. This one is particularly poignant as it belonged to a Military Medal winner, 685885 GNR J.Birchall, RA. James Birchall was gazetted for the Military Medal on the 4th of February 1918. I also found him listed as wounded on the War office casualty lists for July 9th 1918.

A Birchall with a career in the Postwar BAOR

Posted in 1945 + Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on October 18, 2020 by The Dude

This QEII Long Service/Good Conduct medal was awarded in 1962 to Staff Sergeant J.R. Burchell, 22221209 of the 3rd Battalion, East Anglian Regiment. Looking for him on the intertubes I find him listed as C/Sgt in 3/East Anglian in 1965 and assigned to the Regimental Depot.

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.