William Burchell was the son of Albert and Catherine Burchell of 24 St. John Street, Netherton, and attended the Claughton School.. He enlisted in the Worcester Territorials and went to the 1/8th Battalion in the 48th (South Midland) Division. The battalion went to the Western Front in April 1915 and fought tenaciously in the 1916 Battle of the Somme at Ovillers and on the Ancre. In early 1917 it followed up the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and captured the Mound at Templeux-Guerard in a remarkable exploit. By August it had moved to Flanders for the Third Battle of Ypres. They fought on the Steenbeeke and one company was ordered to capture the Maison du Hibou, one of the fortified farms near Langemarck but failed in front of strong defences The battalion tried again on the 24tht but enemy machine guns and the mud of Flanders broke up the attack. A third attack on the 27th was made without artillery, hoping to achieve surprise. The attack failed again and among those killed in action was Private William Burchell. He was 23 years of age and is commemorated on the Tynecot, Dudley and Claughton school Memorials.
Dudley Gilbert Claughton school
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