Interesting 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.
Archive for Family Groups and Singles
Here’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.
This 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.
A 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
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.
This 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.
This 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.
This 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.