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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916


Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 50591 William Henry Birchall

  • Age: 32
  • From: Wigan
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 19th Btn
  • K.I.A Thursday 20th September 1917
  • Commemorated at: Tyne Cot Memorial
    Panel Ref: Panel 31-34

William Henry Birchall was born in 1886 in Wigan the son of John A and Ellen Birchall, Stanley Gate Inn, Ormskirk Rd, Bickerstaffe, Lancashire and Husband of Martha Birchall, of 348, Crow Lane West, Earlestown, Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire. He had married Martha Rosbotham, formerly of Ottershead Farm, Westhead, niece of Sir Stanley Thomas Rosbotham, MP of Bickerstaffe. He resided in Earlestown where Martha was a school teacher and prior to enlisting was employed at the Viaduct Locomotive Works in Newton-le-Willows.

He enlisted in Warrington and was formerly T/3/029861, Royal Army Service Corps.

 Extract from Bickerstaffe Remembers website:

William first joined the Royal Army Service Corps, and spent the next three and a half years teaching officers to ride horses before they were sent overseas. As many of these officers had never ridden a horse before, they would give Private Birchall a 10-shilling note, (50 pence) to find them a ‘quiet one’. In this period, he spent 6 months in charge of a war department farm in Southern England. In July 1917 he was sent to the Ypres area of Belgium, where he met up with his Uncle Bob Rosbotham and wrote a letter home saying that they had had a drink together. Extract from Bickerstaffe Remembers website: By 20th September 1917, William had joined the 19th Battalion, Kings Liverpool Regiment as Private No 50591. It was on that date which, elsewhere on the Salient, was the opening day of the offensive, later referred to as ‘The Battle of the Menin Road’.

William was killed during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), in an early morning raid on two German blockhouses when his group came under heavy machine gun fire. He was 32 years of age. 

Details of the attack in which William was killed featured in the Battalion War Diary:   

19th September 1917 – In support in Denys Wood.  Battalion relieved 17th KLR in front line. Relief complete about 11 p.m.   

20th September 1917 – A raid was carried out by a party of the battalion of 25 OR under Capt. C. Laird, just before 6 a.m. on The Twins. Enemy machine gun fire, however, proved too much for them, although several attempts were made to reach the objective.  Capt. C. Laird was killed in the operation, also 6 OR, and 14 OR were wounded.

Graham Maddocks in “Liverpool Pals”, p.178, explains:  “The remainder of September was fairly uneventful for the rest of the Pals Battalions, except for two trench raids made by the 19th Battalion on 20 September 1917, which, elsewhere on the Salient, was the opening day of the phase of the offensive later referred to as the Battle of the Menin Road. These raids were made for two purposes. The first was an attempt to confuse the enemy as to the intensity and direction of the main attack, and the second was to try to capture two blockhouses known as ‘The Twins’, which commanded the 19th Battalion’s trench front, and thus was able to dominate all its movement. The raiding party, consisting of Captain C. Laird, and twenty-five other ranks left the British front line at 6.00 a.m. and moved into No Man’s Land. However, it was soon spotted, and machine guns opened fire from the blockhouses. Despite a most determined effort to carry the objectives, the situation was hopeless from the start, and Laird and six other ranks were killed and fourteen more soldiers were wounded.”

William's body was not recovered, he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

he is also commemorated on Newton Le Willows and Earlestown Civic Memorial and Holy Trinity C. of E. Church, Bickerstaffe.

 

Killed On This Day.

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 37895 John Bibby

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 36883 William Joseph Cowin
19 years old

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 38487 Edward Crebbin

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 22989 Alec William Elcock
25 years old

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 16238 Samuel Hamilton
26 years old

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 22820 Samuel Richardson
19 years old

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 26885 James Alfred Cannon Shimmin
19 years old

(103 Years this day)
Monday 22nd October 1917.
Pte 59767 Alexander Aitken
22 years old

(103 Years this day)
Monday 22nd October 1917.
Captain George Edward Simpson

(102 Years this day)
Tuesday 22nd October 1918.
Pte 406080 Walter Jackson
19 years old