A Birchall Casualty Group from Passchendaele
Published in the Reporter 6th October 1917.
BARDSLEY SOLDIER. Sgt-Major W. Birchall Dies from Wounds. It was with much regret that the people in Bardsley learned this week that 350051 Sergeant-Major WILLIAM BIRCHALL, Manchester Regiment, T.F. C Coy 1/9th battalion, had passed away as the result of wounds received whilst serving with the forces in France. News that he had been wounded in the right leg came through to his wife and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Josiah Birchall, of Bardsley, last week, and on Wednesday morning of this week a letter came from the Rev. G.M.Wheeler, Church of England chaplain, stating that he never recovered from his collapse, and passed peacefully away to his rest and reward.
By all who knew him in Bardsley, Sergeant-Major BIRCHALL was respected and beloved for his kindliness and ever present desire to do a good turn to anyone in need of it. He joined the Volunteers 17 years ago. He visited New Zealand after his sister’s death, which took place at her uncle’s in Dunedin, and whilst he was away he joined the Dunedin City Guards. He was away rather over 12 months, and on his return he entered the Territorials. He was colour-sergeant when they were called up for service in August 1914, and went to Egypt and the Dardanelles [He landed at Gallipoli 9th May 1915].
During that campaign he was slightly wounded in the chest. Later he came to France. He was there wounded in the neck by a piece of shell, and on recovery rejoined his regiment, and removed with them to Belgium, where he was wounded on the 16th September, sustaining a compound fracture of the right leg. He died on the 25th September, and was buried in the military cemetery near the clearing station by the Church of England chaplain, Re. G.M. Wheeler.
He was 36 years old. The family are associated with Bardsley Church and School, and are much asteemed in the village. He leaves a wife, Mrs Edith Birchall, of 27, Ann St, Roslyn, Dunedin, New Zealand, and two children, a boy and a girl. (William Birchall is buried in the Mendinghem Military Cemetery pictured below).