Rifleman Sidney Burchell

Regiment: 7th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Service No: TR/10/6344 then A/205284
Date & place of birth: 20 January 1899 in Lodsworth
Date & place of death:
20 June 1918 aged 19

Sidney Burchell was one of five brothers of this Lodsworth family of market gardeners who served in World War 1. His brothers all survived the war, but Sidney died in captivity.

Family background

Sidney Burchell was born in Lodsworth and baptised on 31 January 1899 in St Peter’s church. He was the seventh of ten children of Joseph John Burchell, a nursery gardener originally from Tillington, and his wife Jane née Wakeford from Kirdford, who were living in Smithbrook, Lodsworth.

By 1911 Sidney was a schoolboy living with parents at No.1 Broomhill Cottages, Smithbrook, Lodsworth.

Military service

Sidney enlisted in Chichester, initially as TR/10/6344 in a Training Reserve Battalion, probably the 23rd based in Shoreham, although Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1919 probably erroneously states the 2nd. Later he became Rifleman A/205284 in the 7th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps, part of the Army’s 14th Division.

Death & commemoration

Sidney was taken prisoner on 21 March 1918 and held at Camp Stendal, Prussia. He died of kidney infection while in captivity on 20 June 1918 aged 19. [Some current records state he died on 26 June which is likely to be the date of his burial.]

Sidney Burchell's PoW record
Sidney Burchell’s PoW record

He was buried in grave V.A.11 at the Hautmont Communal Cemetery. Hautmont had been captured by the Germans in the early days of World War 1. The communal cemetery was used by the German troops for the burial of their dead. The Allied prisoners who died in the local German hospitals were buried there too by the authorities of the town.

Sidney is also commemorated on the Lodsworth war memorial.

Subsequent family history

Sidney’s brothers Wyndham, Horace Llewellyn, Leonard and Arthur all served in the Army in the First World War 1 and survived.

Sidney’s father Joseph John probably died in 1935 and his mother Jane in 1941.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project