Topic: Richard Henry Burnell

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Richard Henry Burnell (Service no. 24/702) was a First World War Soldier with links to Heathcote

Richard Henry Burnell Richard Henry Burnell was the son of William and Elizabeth Burnell of 57 Hills Road, Heathcote, New Zealand.  However, Elizabeth was actually William Burnell's second wife, Richard's natural mother, Jane, died in 1904.

Richard Burnell was born 18 September 1891 and he never married. He received his education at Heathcote Valley District School and Lyttelton District High School. After leaving school he joined the Railways Department.

He enlisted in the army on 31 May 1915 as a rifleman in the 2nd Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, and then embarked for service from Wellington on 9 October 1915 (exact vessel is unknown).

He disembarked in Egypt on 18 November 1915 and joined the Western Front on 21 November 1915. His Active Service record shows that he then left France for Ismalia in N.E Egypt on 17 January 1916 before returning to the Front from Alexandria on 6 April 1916.

On 24 September 1916 Richard Henry Burnell was Killed In Action in the field at Somme, Northern France, aged 25. He is remembered with Honour at the Caterpillar (New Zealand) Memorial, Longueval, Somme.

This young man was 5 ft. 4 in. tall. He weighed 121 lbs and his chest measurement was 31 in. His complexion was listed as Fresh, Blue Eyes, Light Brown hair; and previous occupation - Fireman.

Richard is remembered on the Heathcote War Memorial.




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Richard Henry Burnell

First Names:Richard Henry
Last Name:Burnell
Place of Birth:Christchurch, New Zealand