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Henry BIRCH

Main CPGW Record

Surname: BIRCH

Forename(s): Henry

Place of Birth: Burnsall, Yorkshire

Service No: 4847

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 'C' Coy 1/6th Battalion

Division: 49th (West Riding) Division

Age: 32

Date of Death: 1916-07-07

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: II. B. 64.

CWGC Cemetery: ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY

CWGC Memorial: ---

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial: BURNSALL, YORKSHIRE

Additional Information:

Henry Birch (born c. 1881) was the son of Mary Birch (born Burnsall, c. 1864), daughter of John Pickersgill and Elizabeth Birch, née Lambert. Mary married Christopher Inman (born Burnsall, c. 1853) in 1883. Christopher may have been Henry’s father.

1891 Burnsall, Yorkshire Census: Burnsall Road - Henry Birch, aged 9 years, born Burnsall. [Henry was living with his grandparents - John P. and Elizabeth Birch.]

1901 Burnsall, Yorkshire Census: Village Green - Henry Birch, aged 19 years, born Burnsall, son of Christopher and Mary Inman.

Henry was married to Molly Woodworth in 1906.

1911 Burnsall, Yorkshire Census: Chapel View - Henry Birch, aged 29 years, born Burnsall, husband of Molly Birch. [Henry and Molly were living with Henry's grandfather - John Pickersgill Birch.]

The British Army Pension Record for Henry Birch exists but may be incomplete. [Pte Henry Birch, 13033, 10th Bn Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment).]

The British Army Service Record for Henry Birch exists but may be incomplete.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Henry Birch, 6/4847, W. Rid. R. D. of W. 7.7.16.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte Henry Birch, 6/4847, 1/6 W. Rid. R. D. of W. 7.7.16.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte Henry Birch, 4847, 1/6th Bn W. Riding. Date and Place of Death: 7.7.16 Etaples. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Widow Sole Legatee - Molly. £5 19s. 3d.

A short biography of Henry is included in: ‘Swaledale & Wharfedale Remembered - Aspects of Dales’ life through peace and war’ by Keith Taylor (2006).

See also: ‘Guiseley Terriers: A Small Part in The Great War - A History of the 1/6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment’ by Stephen Barber (2018).

Data Source: Craven’s Part in the Great War - original CPGW book entry

View Entry in CPGW Book

Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record:

BIRCH, Harry, grandson of Mr. John Birch, of Burnsall, died in the Canadian Hospital at Étaples, France, from wounds received in action, 1916.

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Private Henry BIRCH

Private Henry BIRCH

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 49th (West Riding) Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 49th (West Riding) Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: BIRCH

Forename(s): Henry

Born: Burnsall, Yorks

Residence: Burnsall

Enlisted: Skipton, Yorks

Number: 4847

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion: 1/6th Battalion

Decorations:

Died Date: 07/07/16

Died How: Died of wounds

Theatre of War: France & Flanders

Notes:

Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: BIRCH

Forename(s): Henry

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 4847

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Unit: 1st/6th Bn.

Age: 32

Awards:

Died Date: 07/07/1916

Additional Information: Husband of Molly Wilson, of Fern Cottage, Burnsall, Skipton, Yorks. (CWGC Headstone Personal Inscription: ONE OF ENGLAND'S HEROES FROM HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN)

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Etaples Military Cemetery

Etaples Military Cemetery

CWGC Headstone

Etaples Military Cemetery

Etaples Military Cemetery

CWGC Headstone - personal inscription

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Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard Logo

14 July 1916

BIRCH - July 7th, at the Canadian Hospital, Étaples, Private Harry Birch, of Burnsall.

14 July 1916

BURNSALL MAN PAYS THE PRICE

News has been received that Pte. Harry Birch, grandson of Mr. John Birch, the well-known Burnsall carrier, has been killed in action in France during the recent advance. He joined the army on September 2nd, 1914. Taken seriously ill he was discharged on December 4th, 1915, but re-enlisted on January 21st 1916, and went to France in March last. He was seriously wounded in the leg and died in the Canadian Hospital at Étaples on July 7th. Before joining the army, Pte. Birch was employed as a roadman. He leaves a widow and four children, for whom deep sympathy is felt.

21 July 1916

A BURNSALL HERO

Pte. Henry Birch, formerly of Burnsall, whose photograph we reproduce, was killed in action during the recent advance, as reported in our last week's issue. In a letter to his widow, written by Lieut. Jacques, commanding 'C' Company, 6th Duke of Wellington's Regiment, and dated July 13th, it is stated that Pte. Birch died in hospital on the 17th from wounds received on the 5th.

"The company was in the front line, at the time quite close to the enemy (says Lieut. Jacques) and we had several casualties that day. It was difficult work getting the wounded to a place of safety, and I could not help admiring the patience with which he bore his injuries. He was quite cheerful when I last saw him, and I had great hopes that he would pull through. We have lost an excellent soldier, and I wish to express my sympathy with you and your family in your great personal loss."

Up to two years ago his whole life had been spent in his native village, where as boy and man he had sung for many years in Burnsall Church, being one of four generations who were in the choir there together. When the war broke out, though a married man with a family, he was one of the first in the village to respond to the call of his country, and enlisted on September 8th, 1914, in the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment. In so doing, he found his vocation, for he was a born soldier, and the life in camp and barracks was full of interest to him. But just as his training was approaching completion, he was seized with severe illness, and for many months lay in hospital hovering between life and death, and was eventually discharged from the army for ill health on December 4th, 1915. Most men would then have rested content, feeling that they had "done their bit" for their country, but such was not his view, and in less than a month he re-enlisted. He was sent to France in March, and taking part in the recent great advance, received a serious wound from which he died at the Canadian Hospital, Étaples, on July 7th.

Burnsall may well be proud of his patriotic action in twice enlisting; let us hope that it may incite those who have not yet joined the Army to do so without delay. He rests in a foreign grave, "he died far away from home before his time, but as a soldier, and for his country."

06 July 1917

BIRCH - In honoured and loving remembrance of a dear husband and father, Pte. Henry Birch, who died from wounds received in action in France, July 7th 1916.

He was one of the best God sent,
He nobly fought for England's glory;
He died in England's name -
A Brave Hero.

Ever fondly remembered by his Wife, Children, and Grandfather, at Chapel View, Burnsall.

BIRCH - In loving remembrance of our dear son and brother, Private Henry Birch, who died from wounds received in action in France, July 7th 1916.

Sleep on, dear son, in a soldier's grave,
Your life for your country you nobly gave;
No loved ones near you to say good-bye,
But in God's keeping now safe you lie.

Ever remembered by his Father, Mother and Sisters at Clematis Cottage, Burnsall.

05 July 1918

BIRCH - In loving and honoured memory of a dear husband and father, Private Harry Birch. who died from wounds received in the great advance on the Somme, July 7th, 1916.

He did not stop to reason when first this war began,
But went and did his duty as soldier and a man;
And when the last reveille sounds and when the battle's won,
His Master whom he's gone to meet will smile and say "Well done."

Fondly remembered by his Wife and Children and Grandfather at Chapel View, Burnsall.

BIRCH - In loving remembrance of our dear son and brother, Private Harry Birch, who died from wounds received in France, July 7th, 1916.

Sleep on, dear son, in a soldier's grave,
Your life for your country you nobly gave;
No loved ones near you to say goodbye,
But in God's keeping now safe you lie.

Ever remembered by his father, Mother and Sisters at Clematis Cottage, Burnsall.

04 July 1919

BIRCH - In loving remembrance of our dear son and brother, Private Henry Birch, who died from wounds received in action in France, July 7th, 1916.

Friends may think that we forget you
When at times they see us smile;
But they do not know the sorrow
That the smile hides all the while.

Ever remembered by his Father, Mother and Sisters, Burnsall.

11 July 1919

BIRCH - In loving and honoured remembrance of a dear husband and father, Private Harry Birch. who died on July 7th, 1916, of wounds received in the advance on the Somme.

In the bloom of life God claimed him,
In the pride of his manhood's days;
None knew him but to love him,
None mentioned him but with praise.

From his Wife and Children at Fern Cottage, Burnsall.

09 July 1920

BIRCH - In loving remembrance of our dear son and brother, Private Henry Birch, who died from wounds received in action in France, July 7th, 1916.

BIRCH - In honoured and loving remembrance of a dear husband and father, Private Harry Birch, who died of wounds received in the great advance on the Somme, July 7th, 1916.

He was one best God sent,
He nobly fought for England's glory.
He died in England's name -
A brave hero.

Ever fondly remembered by his Wife, Children, and Grandfather, Chapel View, Burnsall.

08 July 1921

BIRCH - In loving remembrance of our dear son and brother, Private Henry Birch, who died from wounds received in action in France, July 7th, 1916.

If we could have been by his side
To hear his last faint sighs,
Or whisper just one loving word
Before he closed his eyes!
We never knew the pain he bore,
And never saw him die;
We only know he passed away
And never said good-bye.

Ever remembered by his Father, Mother and Sisters, Burnsall.

BIRCH - In loving and honoured remembrance of a dear husband and father, Pte. Harry Birch, who died from wounds received in action in France, July 7th, 1916.

He was one of the best God sent;
He nobly fought for England's glory;
He died for England's name -
A brave hero.

Ever remembered by his Wife and four children, Fern Cottage, Burnsall.

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14 July 1916

A BURNSALL SOLDIER KILLED

Pte. Harry Birch, grandson of Mr. John Birch, the Burnsall carrier, died in the Canadian Hospital at Étaples as the result of wounds received in the great advance. He enlisted in the 6th Duke of Wellington's in December 1914, and was discharged after a serious illness in December 1915, and re-enlisted in June last.

21 July 1916

In loving memory of a dear husband, Pte. Harry Birch, of Chapel View, Burnsall, who died from wounds in the Canadian Hospital at Étaples on July 7th.

One of the best God sent,
He fought for England's glory;
He died in England's name,
A brave hero.

21 July 1916

THE LATE PTE. BIRCH OF BURNSALL

Private Harry Birch, grandson of Mr. John Birch, the Burnsall carrier, and husband of Mrs. Birch, of Chapel View, Burnsall, as reported in our last issue, died in the Canadian Hospital at Etaples on July 7th, as a result of wounds received in the great advance.

Mrs. Birch has received a letter from Platoon Officer A. Claude Stalman, in which he states:-"I am very sorry to have to write to tell you that your husband was badly wounded on Wednesday last, July 5th. And although he was attended to at once and sent off to hospital, I regret to say that he passed away on Friday, July 7th. It is a very sad duty of mine to write and tell you this, and I can only offer you my most heartfelt sympathy. He was a fine fellow, and I pray God will comfort you in your loss."

Lieut. Leonard Jacques, C Company, of the 6th Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, also writes:- "I am very sorry to have to tell you the sad news that your husband died in hospital on the 7th inst., from wound received on the 5th. The company was in the first line at the time quite close to the enemy, and we had severe casualties that day. It was difficult work getting the wounded to a place of safety, and I could not help admiring the patience with which he bore his injuries. He was quite cheerful when I last saw him, and I had great hopes that he would pull through. We have lost an excellent soldier, and I wish to express my sympathy with you and your family in your great personal loss."

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    One Response to Henry BIRCH

    1. Mark March 28, 2021 at 12:42 pm #

      Henry Birch’s WWI silver British War Medal still exists – in my possession.

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