honor role

Burchell, Reginald John

MC Lieut Railway Unit 4th Section Military Hospital Fremantle.

Born at Adelaide, SA. Congregational. Served the statutory three years in the local civilian militia. He was an impressive figure standing 5ft 11 and weighing 210 pounds. Having failed in his bid to unseat Ivan Wisdom, a former Mayor of Cottesloe, and the sitting Member for Claremont in the WA Parliament, Burchell won the Federal House of Representatives seat of Fremantle for the Labour Party. When his Labor membership was cancelled over the Conscription issue, he joined the new National Party and had a landslide victory at the 5 May 1917 election. He enlisted at Broadmeadows in Victoria 4 June 1917 age 34, giving his occupation as a railway official. Nok his wife, Linda Burchell of Stuart St, Cottesloe Beach. Embarked at Melbourne 11 May 1917 per A9 Shropshire. He served in France where on 18 April 1918 he was awarded a Military Cross. RTA per Plassy in April 1919. Burchell retired from Parliament in 1922 to become the Adelaide Manager of Hoadley’s Chocolates and then ventured in movie film and radio enterprises. Service medals and award: Military Cross, BWM and VM. He died at Mosman NSW on 20 June 1955. Citation for the Military Cross from the London Gazette 26 July 1918 reads: ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in controlling railway operations which involved the moving of troops and rolling stock and also the evacuation of the wounded. He worked with limited facilities, for three days and nights continuously. It was due to his care and watchfulness that a successful evacuation was rendered possible, and that engines and rolling stock did not fall into the hands of the enemy.’