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  • Commonwaelth wae grave commission headstone marking the grave of Wilfrid Arthur Birchal (Note incorrect spelling of name) at Jerusalem War Cemetery 
Courtesy of John Beech
Person Details
26 Dec 1884
At Sea
He was the son of Edward Frank and Margaret Marianne Birchal (nee Wilkinson) Not shown on 1891 Census, it is possible he was out of the country with his parents. Attended William Hulme's Grammar School, Manchester from 1896 On 1901 Census, he was living with his paternal uncle Charles Emmanuel Birchal and Aunt Anne, his cousin Minna and his brother Harold Frank at 46 Alexandra Road South, Withington, Manchester. He is listed as a merchant's clerk After leaving school, he worked as a merchant's clerk, possibly for his uncle who was a cotton goods merchant In 1902 he joined the Post Office and is described as a ‘learner’ By 1905 he was working at the Russo-Asiatic Bank in Shanghai Immediately pre-war he worked for the London and Brazilian Bank in Buenos Aires Not shown on 1911 Census as living in either Shanghai or Buenos Aires Probate granted to his Uncle Charles 19th July 1918 Estate £287 15s 4d. Wilfrid’s parents, Edward and Margaret, appear to have spent most of their lives abroad, marrying in Manila, The Philippines, and ultimately living in China. Margaret only returning to England to give birth to Wilfrid and his brother Harold.
Worked as a banker at the London and Brazilian Bank in Buenos Aires
28 Nov 1917
646271 - CWGC Website
Lieutenant
Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers)
Left Argentina November 1914 On his return to the UK, he joined the Inns of Court Officers Training Corps as a Private Commissioned Second Lieutenant with Nottinghamshire (Sherwood Rangers) Yeomanry 22nd April 1915 (London Gazette 28th April 1915) Appointed Lieutenant 1st July 1917 (London Gazette 7th November 1917) Killed in Action 28th November 1917 On that date, the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry were operating in the deep valley westwards of Beit Ur Et Tahta village. A party of Turks were seen at Sheik ab ed Din mosque, which dominated the valley. A reconnaissance was made which came under fire of the Turks. Twelve Nottinghamshire (Sherwood Rangers) Yeomanry were killed or died of wounds that day consisting of Lieutenant Birchal, Second Lieutenant J C F Harter, three NCO and seven privates. Buried Jerusalem War Cemetery Row Y Grave 56
His brother Harold was born on 23rd July 1886 with his birth registered in Third Quarter 1886 in Chorlton. He later worked on the staff of the Shanghai-Nanking Railway. He died in Cape Town, South Africa on 22nd July 1961 It is believed that he was 2377 Gunner Harold Frank Birchal who originally served with the Motor Machine Gun Service (Royal Artillery) in East Africa from 6th August 1914. He later served as a Gunner in the Motor Machine Gun units of the Machine Gun Corps and as a Sergeant in the East African Mounted Rifles. He was later commissioned into the Royal Engineers on 21st February 1917. Whilst with the Royal Engineers, he served with 109th Railway Company. Finally, he was seconded to the RFC/RAF as an observer with 5 Balloon Section, 10 Balloon Company He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross 3rd December 1918 (London Gazette 3rd December 1918). The citation reads: 2nd Lieut. Harold Frank Birchal (R.E.). (FRANCE) During the recent operations this officer has rendered exceptional service. Sparing no effort to press his balloon forward, he was twice compelled to parachute. On August 27th his balloon was hit by shell fire; nose diving from about 600 feet he, with great presence of mind, tried to save his balloon by ripping. Although half-stunned by the fall, he at once re-ascended in a fresh balloon. A fine example of determination and devotion to duty.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commonwaelth wae grave commission headstone marking the grave of Wilfrid Arthur Birchal (Note incorrect spelling of name) at Jerusalem War Cemetery 
Courtesy of John Beech
    Lieutenant Wifrid Arthur Birchal - Commonwaelth wae grave commission headstone marking the grave of Wilfrid Arthur Birchal (Note incorrect spelling of name) at Jerusalem War Cemetery Courtesy of John Beech