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Lieutenant Wifrid Arthur Birchal


John Beech
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Afternoon All

Been looking into this officer and have hit a brick wall with regards his Medal Roll entry. His surname doesn't help it is spelt as above and not 'Birchall'. CWGC has him as Birchall and I have advised them this is incorrect.

He was born at sea on 26th December 1884 and was the son of Edward and Margaret Birchal. No trace of him on 1891 Census, but according to his old school website, his parents lived in China, so possibly to be expected. He does appear on 1901 Census, when after finishing school, he was a merchant's clerk and lived with his uncle, Charles Emmanuel Birchal, and aunt Anne in Manchester. Charles is, I believe, wrongly shown on CWGC entry as his father as Wilfrid is shown as his nephew on the Census.

Wilfrid then left for China around 1905 and went to work at the Russo-Asiatic Bank in Shanghai before moving to South America where he worked for the London and Brazilian Bank in Buenos Aires. He returned to the UK in November 1914 and joined the Inns of Court OTC. He was commissioned into the Sherwood Rangers on 22nd April 1915 and promoted to Lieutenant on 1st July 1917.

He was killed in action on 28th November 1917 and is buried in Jerusalem War Cemetery

Although I have found his MIC, but there is no indication on it that his medals were issued and I have been unable to find him as Birchal or Birchall on Ancestry, I don't have access to FMP. His MIC did originally list him as Birchall but was later corrected to Birchal. I am hoping if someone can confirm whether or not his medals were issued, and if so where the entry is. I have also tried Birchell, Birchel and Birchill without success.

Thanks

John

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The medal index card record on fmp is no help, it is just a transcript, no image, with a link to the National Archives where you can download an image of the card for £3.45, which will, no doubt, be the same as can be viewed on ancestry.

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Hi Harry

Given the policy regarding uploading MIC, I have cropped the medal entries only and as you can see there is no roll or page numbers quoted.

post-18807-0-11460100-1464798253_thumb.j

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John,

I have seen the card on ancestry, and there is nothing on the reverse to say that any medals were claimed by his N.O.K., it is blank. I think it can be concluded that no medals were claimed or issued.

Harry

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Hi Harry

I was leaning towards that myself. I know his parents lived in China and it's possible they predeceased him.

His Probate Register entry lists him Uncle as administrator so he may not have felt the need to claim the medals.

Regards

John

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Hi John and all

His father Edward Frank Birchal, born 1852, Salford and of Peking, China died 2nd February 1920 at Chalet Gerome Route de Frejus, Cannes, France. Probate granted to Margaret Marianne Birchal and Margaret Eleanor Birchal, Spinster......still searching

Regards Barry

Edward born 27.6.1852 m Margaret Marianne Wilkinson. She died 17th August 1934 in Nairobi, Kenya in a nursing home, probate to Frederick Edgar Wilkinson. Edward's father was James, mother Elizabeth Lockett

Edited by The Inspector
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Hi Barry

Thanks for this additional information. The family certainly got around - China, South America and Africa. Wonder why they don't appear to have claimed his medals.

Edward's full name confirms that the CWGC record is incorrect in describing Wilfrid as the son of C E Birchal. So I can pass that on as I have raised a query regarding the spelling of his name.

Wilfrid had a brother, Harold, who worked on the railways in China and the 1911 Census on Ancestry has him as Harold J Birchal. I believe the J is actually F and he is Harold Frank Birchal birth registered Chorlton in 1886. If it is, then he may be 2377 Harold Frank Birchal who served with the Royal Artillery in East Africa and East African Mounted Rifles and was then comissioned into 109th Railway Company, Royal Engineers. This would make sense as his pre war employment was on the railways. Plus, his medals were sent to an address in Nairobi, Kenya, which is where you have shown his mother lived. Given the spelling of his name this seems very plausible.

Regards

John

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Hi John

A bit more family background to confirm relationship:-

The 1871 census shows Charles E and Edward F in Moss Side, Manchester, brothers.living with siblings and an Aunt..Alice Locket. Head of household is Alice Sara(h) Birchal,died 1.2.14 in Bath probate to Agnes Mildred Eliza Birchal, on 1871 census as Agnes M E Birchal, aged 2 yrs.

I agree Harold F not J on 1901 census, entry 9 above Harold "Frank Barrett" and 2 down "Joseph Haworth" There is an upstroke on the "J" for Harold the same as the "F" above has, although it is very faint. The J below hasn't. Also no loop at the beginning of the "F" the "J" has.

Regards Barry

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Thanks Barry

Much appreciated. I am fairly convinced now that Harold is 2377 above. After serving with RE he went on secondment to RFC / RAF and served as a balloon observer and won a DFC. There is a separate thread to him on War in the Air

Regards

John

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