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© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
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Owen Stanley Burchell (1888-1918) - Pte 72688 1 st  Bn Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment) Owen   Burchell    was   the   youngest   of   eight   children,   two   girls   and   six   boys,   born   to   George   and   Ameila   (nee   Attwater)   Burchell   between 1866   and   1888.      George   and   Amelia   moved   to   Itchingfield   after   their   marriage   in   1866   and   all   eight   children   were   christened   in   St Nicholas, Itchingfield. The   family   left   Itchingfield   and   moved   over   the   border   into   Surrey   around   1902   and   father   George   died   in   Godstone   in   1906.   By   the   1911 census just the two youngest sons, Owen and his older brother Frederick were still living at home with their widowed mother. Owen   Burchell   signed   up   with   the   Army   Service   Corps   at   Woolwich   on   the   8 th    February   1915   aged   27.   His   original   army   number   of TH/059763   and   his   rank   of   Driver   shows   that   he   enlisted   in   a   Horse   Transport   unit.   He   was   posted   to   308   Company,   a   home   service company,   based   initially   at   Holton   Camp,   Wendover,   Bucks   and   then   at   Crowborough   Camp,   Sussex.   Between   times   he   married   Millie Glosby in August 1915 in Limpsfield Surrey.
The Fallen
In   May   1916   he   was   sent   to   France   and   posted   to   the   Base   Horse Transport   Depot   near   Le   Havre,   where   he   served   until   October the   following   year.   Working   for   the   Army   supply   chain   was   a dangerous    and    arduous    job    but    would    not    have    put    Owen directly in the line of fire. All that changed in October 1917. On    the    15 th     October    1917,    under    the    terms    of    Army    Order 204/1915   Owen   was   compulsorily   transferred   to   the   1 st    Bn   Notts & Derby Regiment (The Sherwood Foresters) as Pte 72688. The    1 st     Sherwood    Foresters    were    part    of    24 th     Brigade,    8 th   Division    and    through    the    latter    part    of    1917    and    early    1918 supported the actions resulting in the German retreat.
This   culminated   in   the   Battles   of   the   Somme   that   took   place   from   March   to   July   1918.   The   major   input   of   the   8 th    Division   was   as   part   of the 5 th  Army in the Battle of of Rosières which took place on the 26 th /27 th  March and it was here that Owen lost his life. The   Allies   took   severe   losses   in   this   action   and   Owen’s   body   was   never   found   –   his   record   just   states   “missing”   and   later   “death presumed”.   He   is   commemorated   on   the   Pozieres   memorial   and   was   awarded   the   Victory   and   British   War   Medals   for   his   service.   As   yet no other memorials recording his sacrifice have been found. Owen’s   service   records   survives   and   can   be   found   online   on   both   Ancestry   or   Findmypast    or   on   microfilm   at   the   National   Archives   in Kew.
© IWM (Q 8521)