The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Nick Name:
- Corporal (Promoted on 7.2.1942)
- Regimental #:
- 'E' Company, Special Reserve Battalion
- Place of Birth:
- Devon, England
- Father's Name:
- Thomas William Burchell
- Mothers's Name:
- Violet Lilian Burchell
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Epitaph, Singapore memorial, Column 135, Age 21.
- Cause of Death:
- Killed in Action
- Place of Death:
- South-West Bukit Timah
- Date of Death:
Soldier was a Kingsley Fairbridge Farm Schoolboy. Born 26/6/1922 he arrived in Australia 14/11/1932 aged 10 years.
Reg and Ron Burchell arrived at Fairbridge from England in November 1932 aged 10 and 12 years. The brothers were placed in Lawley Cottage.
Reg played 10 games with Swan Districts Football Club in 1937 when he was 17 years old.
Reginald ‘Reg’ Thomas enlisted first, on 14th May 1941, joining 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion. Ronald ‘Ron Burchell enlisted a month later on 11/6/1941 joining 2/4th MG Battalion. Ron had been residing at Midland Junction prior to his enlistment.
Eight months later Corporal Ron Burchell was KIA South West Bukit Timah on 11 February 1942 when ‘E’ Company ran into a Japanese ambush. He was just 21 years old. About 88 of 200 man Company survived this day.
Corporal Burchell acted as Section Commander, Reserve Battalion.
He was Taken on Strength 27 December 1941 ‘E’ Company Special Reserve, No. 1 Platoon.
Private Reg Burchell WX12943 survived the war with 2/28th Battation having fought in North Africa at the siege of Tobruk and the Battle of El Alamein.
Reg Burchell returned to live in England after the war. He had family residing there and the money to pay his fare. It was not unusual for former Fairbridge kids to return to their home in England. Many did so prior to WW2 and it is probably many did so after the war ended, particularly if they had family.
For further reading go to Burchell Brothers