Archive for the Family Groups & Singles Category

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.

A Birchall Valour Group from the Hundred Days Offensive

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, 1939-1945 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles, Rare Medals, Valour Medals with tags , , , , , on December 9, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomHere’s a great group coming from my never-ending search for medals impressed to my surname. In this case its a WW1 Military Medal group combined with a WW2 service medal group, named to J.E.Birchall 91004, The Kings (Liverpool) Regt.

It came with a little certificate from his commanding General commending his “…skilful use of his Lewis Gun section during operations against Evillers and Mory Copse on the 23rd and 24th of August 1918”.

The village of Evillers was completely destroyed during this offensive. John Eric Birchall later served in WW2, as evidenced by his Defence Medal and War Medal. This service was as a Lieutenant in the Home Guard. Given his age, it was probably his MM that got him that rank.

A Birchall Sapper in WW1

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on September 5, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis small group is impressed to 8518 SPR W.T. BIRCHALL RE. William Birchall served as a sapper in the Royal Engineers. This means he spent a lot of time on trench improvements and likely served close to or at the front. He doesn’t appear on the CWGC website so he survived. The group came with the owners miniatures which is a nice touch since I often find these things as lonely orphans.

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A Birchall in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on August 24, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomA modest medal, unfortunately an orphan. This medal is impressed to 8846 PVT A. BURCHELL R.W.FUS. Albert Burchell served in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and later in The Welsh Regiment. I haven’t been able to find any more information about this man. No attestation papers. But since he doesn’t appear on the CWGC site, it appears he survived the Great War.

Update: From a friend on another site a little more about Albert
Albert Burchell
Rank: Private
Medal Awarded: British War Medal and Victory Medal
Regiment or Corps: Welsh Regiment Regimental Number: 267026 Sub Unit: 1/6th Battalion
Previous Units: 8846. R.W. Fus. Pte. Infantry Base Depot., Att. 6th Welch R., 15632. 6th Welch R., 267026. 6th Welch R., Welch R. Infantry Base Depot., 8th Welch R., Att. 37th Div Cyclists, 8th Welch R.

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Another WW1 Birchall in the Merchant Navy

Posted in Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on May 3, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis is a pretty humble medal that has had a hard life. This is the WW1 British War Medal, impressed to Frederick W. Birchall. Because of the lack of a unit or service number I suspected this was a merchant seaman award. 10 minutes on the British Archives and here he is. Frederick was born in 1871 in Liverpool and would therefore have been 43 when war broke out. His medals were forwarded to the Merchant Marine Office in Canning Place, Liverpool. He was also awarded the Merchantile War Medal, since lost to time. The War Medal here has the neck of its suspender broken as well as bad edge knocking and bruising. It probably sat in someones junk drawer for a few decades.

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A Birchall in Heavy Bombers for the RCAF

Posted in 1945 + Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on March 1, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_CanadaThis medal is a GVI Canadian Efficiency Decoration awarded to Wing Commander Kenneth Birchall (C1592). Ken was born in Ottawa on the 17th of March 1916. He attended the technical school in Ottawa and went on to become a Pilot-Sergeant in the RCAF, later enlisting in 1939 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The Ottawa Journal records his promotion to Flying Officer (Temporary)  in January 1940. He went on to complete two tours in bombers over France and Germany and then returned to Canada. He served as the Chief Instructor at No.2 Bombing and Gunnery School at Mossbank in Manitoba. In the 14 June 1945 London Gazette he was gazetted for the Air Force Cross (AFRO 1127/45 dated 6 July 1945).  Ken had completed 1,502 hours flying as of date of award. The award was presented 1 April 1949.

The blurb for the award is as follows…

“Wing Commander Birchall, during the period of his employment as chief instructor at No.2 Bombing and Gunnery School, has produced outstanding results in training efficiency. Through devotion to duty and untiring effort he contributed in great measure to raising and maintaining the efficiency and morale of this station at a very high level. His service has been outstanding for the past five years and during that period he has made a valuable contribution to the prosecution of the war.”

Aside from the missing AFC, Ken would also be entitled to the Victory Medal, the 1939-45 Star, the Air Crew Europe Star, the Defence Medal and the CVSM with Overseas Bar.

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A Birchall Lost in the Battle Over Berlin

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , , on April 18, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis small group belongs to 1076673 Eric Birchall, Sergeant, RAFVR. Eric flew on Lancasters of 44 Squadron and was killed in action on December 24th 1943. Eric was a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. He trained in 1654 Heavy Conversion Unit and was posted to 44 Squadron on 12th August 1943. He flew 13 sorties including two to Berlin, two to Hannover and one to Munich. On his 14th sortie, again to Berlin, he was part of group of 379 aircraft, mainly Lancasters. They took off at 0034hrs on the 24th and had a troublefree outer leg due to bad weather. His aircraft was en route home to Dunholme Lodge when it was attacked by a night fighter at 0315 hours and set on fire. It was observed to crash 30 miles NE of Limburg. The entire crew was killed. Eric is buried in the Hannover War Cemetery along with the rest of his crew.

 

 

A Birchall from the East Lancashire Regiment

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on December 23, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomHere’s another very ordinary Birchall. In this case it’s Albert Birchall, Private, 38249. He served originally in the East Lancashire Regiment and later in the North Lancashire Regiment. His medal card shows an entry for the Silver Wound Badge.
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A WW1 Single to a Birchall from the South Lancashire Regiment

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on December 1, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomHere’s a lonely single to Private Jonathan J. Birchall of the South Lancashire Regiment (No 39159). John Joseph Birchall was born in Salford in 1885 and appears in the 1911 census as single, living with his Mum Elizabeth and working as a general labourer. The census has their address as 16 Anderson St, Salford. This house and street no longer exist as they were flattened during the Blitz in WW2 and never rebuilt.

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Death Penny for a Birchall killed in the 1st Battle of Ypres

Posted in Family Groups & Singles, Plaques, Table Medals & Awards with tags , on September 12, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis memorial plaque (also called a Dead Man’s Penny) commemorates the death of Private Alfred William Burchell 8121. Alfred, born in Tottenham, London, was a member of 2nd Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and was killed on the 17th of November 1914 during the last stages of the 1st Battle for Ypres in Belgium. His body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the 47th panel of the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres. Also shown is the original wax cardboard sleeve these plaques were shipped in.

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A Birchall on the Battleship Valiant in the Mediterranean

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis group belongs to Thomas William Burchell. They are unnamed except for the Naval LSGC which is impressed to D/J109394 Petty Officer T.W.Burchell, H.M.S. Valiant. The LSGC was issued on June 12th 1941. I have his papers up until 1929 and can see that when he was made P.O. in May 1941 he was on the Valiant. In this case he would have had an action packed war with convoy runs to Gibraltar, the defeat of the Italian Fleet at Cape Matapan and the Greek Campaign.

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A Palestine NGSM to a Birchall

Posted in 1945 + Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on August 12, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis Naval General Service Medal, impressed to C/JX 155864 E.Burchell A/B R.N. has the 1945-1948 Palestine Bar. Most of the naval personnel involved in this brush fire war were offshore patrol craft crews attempting to interdict arms and illegal immigrant traffic into what was still the British Mandate territory of Palestine.

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A Pre-War Birchall in the RFA

Posted in 1901-1913 Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , on August 6, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis single is the Territorial Efficiency Medal (EVII). It was awarded on the 1st of July 1909 to 63 Serjeant T. Birchall, of the 4/W.Lancashire Regiment Howitzer Battery, RFA.

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A Birchall Killed In The 1918 German Spring Offensive

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , on July 27, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis is a late Great War pair to 202339, Frederick C. Birchall of 6th Battalion, The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. Frederick was killed on the 30th of March 1918, during Germany’s last throw Spring Offensive. He is buried at Doullens Communal Cemetery, Extension #1.
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A Birchall Casualty from the Gloucestershire Regiment

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , on June 29, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomWilliam Birchall, the son of William and Jessie Birchall and the husband of Alice was from Bradley Green, Whitchurch, Salop. he enlisted in Chester. He was a private, 34582, in C Company, 13th Bn, The Gloucesters when he died of wounds (gun shot wound to the abdomen) on the 31st of March, 1918, aged 32. The cemetery he is buried in, Namps-Au-Val was used by the 41st, 50th and 55th Casualty Clearing Stations when they operated here during the German Picardy Offensive of March 1918.

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A Single to a Birchall Who Habitually Lost His Medals

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on April 24, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis single British War Medal belongs to Thomas Birchall. It is impressed to 11114 T.Birchall N. Staffs. Ex-Private Birchall seemed to be in the habit of losing his medals since his Victory Medal was reported lost in 1922. The police subsequently found and handed in his lost medal which was returned to him.

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A Birchall Single from the ASC

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on April 23, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis British War Medal belonged to John H. Birchall. It is impressed to DM2-208049 Pte J.H.Birchall A.S.C. John Henry Birchall was a sanitary worker in civilian life and enlisted on the 5th of June 1915. He served in the Motor Corps.

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A Birchall Casualty sent to Gallipoli and Retired Unfit in WW1

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on April 23, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis single is a 1914-1915 Star 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.

Update: I found his Victory Medal in the UK, 4 years later!

 

A Birchall Officer Single, Promoted From the Ranks

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on April 23, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis is an orphan medal for 2nd Lieutenant George Birchall. This medal single is impressed for 21176 2 Lieut. G Birchall H.Light.Inf. He enlisted as a Private soldier in the Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was transferred to the Highland Light Infantry as a Corporal and then promoted from the ranks to Temporary 2nd Lieutenant and then confirmed as 2nd Lieutenant.

He was removed from the suspense list and then placed on the retired list on the 20th of October 1921. In the meantime he had reenlisted in the Royal Scottish Rifles as a Private on the 1st of December 1919. His new Regt. Number was 3122424. Why would someone reenlist in the army having survived WW1?

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A Birchall Sapper in World War One

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on April 23, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis group is for Sapper Thomas Birchall of the Royal Engineers. The medals are impressed to 125581 Spr T.Birchall R.E. Thomas was from Wigan and was a shoe and boot repairer before the war.

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A Birchall Group in the Lancashire Fusiliers

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on April 23, 2013 by The Dude
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This Group is for Joseph Birchall. He served in the Lancashire Fusiliers and enlisted on the 11th of November, 1915. The medal is named to 202627 Pte J.Birchall Lan.Fus. John enlisted on the 11th of December 1915. He was discharged in 1919 due to injury.

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