- John Birchwood was a son of James Edward and Elizabeth Mary
Birchwood. He was married to Anne Lucy Birchwood of Droylsden,
Lancashire. He had at least two brothers: Frank and Alan James. They
both served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Frank was killed
on 1-10-1941 age 30. He is buried at Manchester. Alan James was killed
on 14-12-1941 age 21. He is buried at Droylsden.
- On the forum of www2talk.com some information about John Birchwood
can be found. Apparently Birchwood was attached to the 9th Battalion
Durham Light Infantry of the 151st Infantry Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian)
Infantry Division. He was a platoon commander of A Company.
- On 28 august 1943 Birchwood was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in
the East Lancashire Regiment.
- On 4 october 1944 the 9th Durham Light Infantry Battalion was given
the task of taking the village of Baal and the surrounding orchards. A
Company would follow D Company (advancing to a road fork on the
Bemmel-Baal road) and then capture an orchard south of Baal.
- The attack began at 14.00 hrs and D Company quickly reached its
objective. Because the Germans were now very alert to the attack A
Company had to fight hard to take their objective. They tried to move
around the left flank of D Company, but ran into heave machinegun fire
from a house and orchards. During this the CO of A Company, Captain
Hudson was wounded and all three platoon commanders, among them John
Birchwood, were killed.
- Birchwood his name is mentioned on the War Memorial at Droylsden.