|Nat Birch by Alex Service |
Nat Birch was a rugged loose-forward signed at the end of the Second World War. His father, Alderman Nathaniel Birch was the leader of the local Labour Party in St.Helens and was Mayor of the town in 1938-39. Young Nat later became the Chief Public Health Inspector and joined the Saints from St.Helens RUFC. He later went on to become a player and Coach with Liverpool City.
Nat Birch an appreciation from his step-daughter, Mrs Pamela Kaye Broughton
Nathaniel (Nat) Birch was the son of a coal miner, Alderman Nathaniel Birch Snr, licensee of the Nags Head in Boundary Road and his wife, Ellen, nee Grundy. Alderman Birch served as Mayor of St. Helens from 1938-1940. He was also the leader of St. Helens County Borough Council for ten years, from 1940-1950.
Nat (Jnr) joined the old St. Helens Borough Council in 1933 aged 16 and completed 43 years service, before retiring aged 60 in 1976. He also started playing rugby union with the local St. Helens team at Moss Lane. Nat served in the Second World War for five years with the Army, where he was a Staff Sergeant Glider Pilot with the First Airborne Division. He was one of the first to land at Arnhem, site of the famous battle there. [another Saints player, Sonny Doyle, was also involved in the same operation] He was also a Senior Rifle Instructor and played rugby union for an Army XV.
Whilst briefly stationed at RAF Locking, Weston Super Mare, Somerset, he met his future wife, Joan, a war widow, with a daughter, Kaye.
Nat returned to his job in St. Helens, where he became Deputy Chief Public Health Inspector in 1951 and Chief Inspector in 1955. In 1974, he became Director of Environmental Health Services, following local government re-organisation. He was a man of high moral values and exacting standards, who demanded the best of himself and those around him. He was deeply committed to both his job and his family. The family lived at Moss Bank for 30 years, now with a welcome addition of a son, Neil.
Nat and Joan retired to the beautiful and perfect environment of South west Scotland and the Dumfries and Galloway region, where Nat designed and oversaw the building of their new house. There Nat was to follow his many hobbies of fishing (12 years Secretary of the local Angling Club) gardening, painting, walking and caravanning, touring the Highlands every year until his eighties, always accompanied by their two Scottish terriers.
They had thirty happy years there, before Nat passed away suddenly on 30th November 2006, aged 90, shortly after celebrating their Diamond Wedding.
|Season (Official Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|Season (Other Matches)||Tries||Goals||DGoals||Matches|
|5th Jan 1946||L||13||Hull K.R.||L||1945~46||A||7||26||1||VIEW|
|12th Jan 1946||L||13||Salford||L||1945~46||H||6||13||VIEW|
|26th Jan 1946||L||13||Batley||L||1945~46||A||0||15||VIEW|
|2nd Feb 1946||W||13||Swinton||L||1945~46||H||7||5||VIEW|
|9th Feb 1946||L||13||Castleford||CC1(1)||1945~46||A||4||10||VIEW|
|16th Feb 1946||W||13||Castleford||CC1(2)||1945~46||H||14||5||VIEW|
|23rd Feb 1946||L||13||Warrington||L||1945~46||H||10||17||VIEW|
|9th Mar 1946||W||13||Halifax||L||1945~46||H||13||0||VIEW|
|30th Mar 1946||L||13||Barrow||L||1945~46||H||22||30||1||VIEW|
|*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.|