“Birchall”

Hero WOD

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  • For Time
  • 100 Back Squats (Bodyweight)
  • Perform 5 Burpees at the top of each minute

Start with 5 burpees, then begin the back squats. Complete more 5 burpees at the top of each minute and repeat until 100 back squats are complete.

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namesake photo
This British Hero WOD is dedicated to Major Sean Birchall, 33 years old of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, who died in an explosion in Afghanistan on June 19, 2009. Also dedicated to Lt Paul Mervis, Robert McClaren, and Cyrus Thatcher who died in the same month.

Major Birchall was killed by an explosion whilst on patrol in Basharan, near Lashkar Gah, in Helmand province, Afghanistan. One other soldier was injured in the incident.

At about 11am Major Birchall was leading a routine patrol to deliver supplies and check on his men in the checkpoints around Basharan. As the patrol, consisting of three armoured vehicles, made its way from one checkpoint to another an improvised explosive device was detonated against the second vehicle.

Despite immediate assistance from the patrol medic, sadly Major Birchall died as he was being extracted to the helicopter landing site.

Major Sean Birchall, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards
Major Birchall was born on 23 June 1975 in Vanderbijlpark, Republic of South Africa, but moved back to the UK six months later. He was educated at St Peter’s Catholic Comprehensive School, Guildford, and later at Plymouth University, where he was a member of the Exeter University Officer Training Corps.

He attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1999, and was commissioned into the Welsh Guards on 11 December 1999.

Major Birchall’s wife Joanna paid this tribute:
Sean was a wonderful husband, a doting father and a much-loved son and brother, who cared deeply for his family and friends.

He has been described as ‘devilishly fit, stylish and energetic’ and he was so very proud to be a Guards Officer. He was also thrilled to have the opportunity to lead a newly-formed company in Afghanistan and, despite spending such a short time with his Guardsmen, he was utterly devoted to them. He would want them to continue with courage and commitment and to come home safely when the job is done.

It is the excellence he achieved in every facet of his life that defined Sean. An athlete, an adventurer and an instinctive leader, he was an inspiration to all who knew him.

He leaves behind his adoring family, the regiment he loved, and his loyal friends. They will miss him terribly.

The oldest mention we've found of the "Birchall" Hero WOD is on the WODvember Facebook page from November 22, 2015.
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