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The following article was researched and submitted for inclusion by Eugene Birchall, the Great Nephew of Nathan.

birchall1Nathan Birchall was born on 16th August 1893 in Rivington, Lancashire and was christened on 10th September that year at Rivington Church.

Nathan enlisted on 31st August 1914 at Chorley as a Private, initially with the 9th Battalion, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and sailed to France with them on 25th September 1915. He was later transferred to the 8th Battalion of the Regiment.

Private Nathan Birchall was killed in action during the Battle of the Somme on 10th July 1916.

July 1916 LNL Regiment, 8th Battalion

To take part in the ‘Battle of the Somme 1916’, the 8th (Service) Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment moved from Léalvillers to Forceville on Saturday 1 July 1916, the first day of the battle. The following day they went to Aveluy Wood to the north west of Aveluy, and took up reserve positions at Crucifix Corner. Working parties from the battalion went to the front line at Leipzig Salient.

The battalion moved to the front line on 7 July, and at midnight on 8 July, the battalion were about a mile from the town of Albert, near the Albert-Pozières road. The next day they moved into the line to the south of Ovillers, from where the following day it attacked an enemy trench which was located to the rear of the village. Unfortunately the battalion was subjected to a number of counter attacks by the Germans, several of which were partially successful, but at a cost in casualties to both sides.

As the result of the enemy counter attacks the 8th (Service) Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment made little progress, and suffered at least 247 casualties. 74 ranks in the battalion lost their lives on Monday 10 July 1916, of which almost all were either natives or residents of the county of Lancashire.

Extracted from account of 2nd Lieutenant Herbert DAY 8th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, who also died on 10th July 1916


birchall4Memorial Service
A service was held on Sunday morning, at the Rivington Parish Church, in memory of Private Nathan Birchall, of Babylon-lane, Heath Charnock, who was formerly Scout-master of the Rivington Scouts. There was a full parade of the Horwich Ist, 2nd, 3rd 4th, and 5th Troops, with the Blackrod Troop and the Rivington Troop, these being under the command of Commissioner Shawcross, headed by the bugle and drum band.

The Horwich Cadet Corps also took part in the parade. They were under the control of Sergeant Pendlebury. The full strength numbered nearly 100. The Vicar (the Rev. W. Ritson, AA.A.) conducted the service, which was most impressive. Special hymns and anthems were sung – Chorley Guardian and Leyland Hundred Advert of August 26, 1916


Family Memories, by Eugene Birchall
This project on started on 12 September 1967. I was 18 years old and my grandfather (John Birchall, b 1887) asked if I would like to join him to visit Herbert Heaton, his brother-in-law, who lived in Babylon Lane, Heath Charnock. It was just an ordinary family visit until I spotted, on Herbert Heaton’s sitting room wall, a portrait with inscription which read: “Drummer Nathan Birchall, b 1894, was killed at the Battle of the Somme, France, July 10th 1916”.

I was captivated and full of questions. Later my grandfather, who worked when he was young as a verger for Rivington Church, told me the family history as far back as he could remember. I thought his memory was surely flawed when he reeled out masses of information. 30 years later, when I gained access to all the records concerning my family, I was amazed that he was almost 100% accurate! Births, deaths and marriages were remembered in detail. And so, all those years ago, I was hooked, line and sinker, by the world of Genealogy which would take up many pleasurable hours of my time, when resources were limited to pencil, paper, and microfiche. In more recent years the computer has transformed research and has enabled me to publish these results. It is good to know that the contribution and ultimate sacrifice of Nathan Bichall has not been in vain and has also led to a family appreciation of all our ancestors.

This article was written on the day of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1.


Rank: Private
Service No: 12724
Date of Death: 10/07/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 8th Bn.

Paul McCormick
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One Response to 12724 PTE. N. BIRCHALL. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Maureen Jones says:

    Asa Leadbetter PTE 12720 also lived on Babylon Lane, Heath Charnock in what is now my home. He was the same age as PTE 12724 Nathan Birchall and died aged 22 on the same day during the Battle of the Somme on 10th July 2016. Asa also has no grave. Because their service numbers are so close I like to think of them as good friends proudly and bravely enlisting together on the same day. I hope they were beside each other during the battle at the time of their death and took comfort from being with close friends. Sadly I don’t know anything more about Asa. He may be survived by relatives who remember him but just in case he hasn’t I would like to acknowledge his memory as sharing my home before it was mine. May he rest in peace and never be forgotten.

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