Lt Col
Arthur Percival Dearman Birchall

Information about birth

General information

Professional Soldier
Church of England

Army information

Canadian Expeditionary Force
Lieutenant Colonel
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Holds a Commission in the Regular Army, Canada
 —  Canadian Infantry, 4th Bn. (Central Ontario)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Turco Farm, Boezinge, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Panel: Panel 18 - 24 - 26 - 30.

Distinctions and medals 1

Mentioned in Despatches
Honourable mentioning

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Like many Canadian officers, Arthur Birchall was British by origin. He was educated at Eton and Oxford and was a sportsman and an avid hunter. In fact he was the paragon of the pre-war British officer class. During the Boer War, Arthur joined the army, making a career for himself and becoming a military instructor in Canada.

In late 1914 he joined the Canadian contingent as a captain, later rising to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. After the German gas attack of 22 April 1915, he and his unit, the 4th Battalion (Central Ontario), took part in the counterattack on Mauser Ridge.
There was hardly any cover to be found. Halfway up the undulating slope the German artillery pinned down the Canadians on the battlefield. The men lay there under fire for a full day. When a commanding officer was wounded, Lieutenant-Colonel Birchall took over command of his company. Towards evening, Arthur was killed.

The 4th Battalion suffered 506 dead, wounded and missing on 23 April. Arthur was buried close to Turco Farm, but after the war his body could not be identified.

Sources 6

"Col. Birchall Knew no Fear” (Toronto, Toronto Star, 30/10/1915).
Sources used
"Lieut. Col. A.P. Birchall” (Toronto, Toronto Star, 26/04/1915).
Sources used
Circumstances of Death Registers, First World War (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC), RG 150, 1992-93/314; Volume Number: 154).
Sources used
Personnel Records of the First World War (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC) RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 742 - 20).
Sources used
UK, De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, 34.
Sources used
War Graves Registry: Commonwealth War Graves (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC): RG150, 1992-1993/314, Box 39-244; Box: 46).
Sources used