Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page

Private Frank Burgess

10462 1st Battalion Royal Scots Regiment

Private F Burgess
Private F Burgess
Son of Mr Reuben & Mrs Mary Ann Burgess

Aged 25 years

Died 11th June 1915

Commemorated at Chapelle-D'Armentieres Old Military Cemetery
Grave B.25

Born at Rushden and enlisted at Northampton.

From the Burnt Records, Peter Inns & Kay Collins

Frank Burgess was born in Rushden, son of Reuben & Mary Ann, and had 3 older sisters, 1 older brother and 1 younger brother. The family all worked in the shoe trade. Frank joined the Royal Scots Regiment at Northampton on the 9th of January 1909 aged just 19. His medical examiner recorded him to be 5' 7" tall, weight 120 pounds, 34½" chest (2" expansion), of good physical development, with brown eyes and hair, and of Church of England faith. After training in Scotland, he joined the 2nd Battalion in May and the following year joined the 1st Battalion in September 1910, where he earnt a good conduct badge. He served in India with them for four years, returning to England at the start of WWI. From October to December he was home, but left for France on 19th December 1914 with the Expeditionary Force. He was injured on the 10th and died of his wounds on the 11th June 1915.

The Rushden Echo Friday 27 November 1914, transcribed by Nicky Bates

From India to Rushden - Private Burgess's Experiences - Nearly Shipwrecked - The Ghurkas and Their Knives

Pte. F Burgess, of the Royal Scots Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs R Burgess, of Rushden, has just returned with his regiment from India, where he has been for 4½ years, and he spent last week end at home with his parents. He expects shortly to be sent to France.

"Twice on our homeward journey," he said to a representative of the "Rushden Echo", "we were nearly shipwrecked. Our boat, His Majesty's transport Aragon, had about 2,000 troops on board and about 150 officers with their ladies, and when we were in the Indian Ocean, owing to an accident to our steering gear, we nearly collided with our sister ship, the transport Avon, which was travelling with us. We only missed striking her by a few yards, and it was an exceedingly fortunate escape, as the sea was very rough.

"The terrors of the Bay of Biscay have often been spoken of, but our worst part of the voyage was when we got into the English Channel. The sea was running mountains high; I have never seen such waves in my life, and I don't want to again. Many of us were seven weeks on the sea, and this, with nearly a week in railway trains, made about eight weeks' uncomfortable travelling. In both the boat and the trains we were practically lying on top of one another, and it was next to impossible to get any sleep.

"Immediately after landing at Devonport, we were conveyed to Winchester, where we were put under canvas, and you can imagine the contrast after we had been living in an Indian summer, with the thermometer registering about 115 degrees in the shade. The whole lot of us didn't half feel cold!"

"How did the troops in India receive the news that war was declared?" asked our representative.

"Most of them were pretty pleased," replied Pte. Burgess, "and the majority of them were breaking their hearts to get at the Germans."

"You have, of course, seen the Ghurkas in their native land?" said our representative.

"Yes," said Pte Burgess, "and pretty useful little chaps they are. They worship their knives, and the worst punishment you can inflict on a Ghurka is to deprive him of his knife for any length of time at all; he would rather go to prison. They are very good-natured little chaps and are practically the only natives who will associate with the British troops. They will drink with 'Johnny' as he calls the British troops, their favourite beverage being rum. The whole of the Indian native troops are fine fighters and strictly loyal to the King and empire and should prove very useful to the British Expeditionary Force."

The Rushden Echo Friday 4 December 1914, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden and District War Items

Private F Burgess of Rushden, of the Royal Scots, son of Mr and Mrs R Burgess, of Rushden, who has just returned to England after 4½ years in India, and who expects to be sent to the front shortly. An interview appeared in last week's "Rushden Echo."

Evening Telegraph, Thursday 17th June 1915, transcribed by John Collins.

Rushden Hero’s Death Confirmed

We record with deep regret the death of another of Rushden’s gallant sons, Private F. Burgess, of the 1st Royal Scots, which occurred on June 10th from wounds received in action. Up till to-day (Friday) Mr. and Mrs. R. Burgess, of the Bedford-road, Rushden, his parents, had received only unofficial news of his death. They have now received an official notice. Private Burgess had been in the Army 6 and a half years, and on the outbreak of war was on his fifth year of service in India. He came home in November and after spending three days at Rushden went to the front early in December. Mr. and Mrs. Burgess are deeply grateful to all the friends who have so kindly sympathised with them in their sad bereavement.

Evening Telegraph, Friday 25th June 1915, transcribed by John Collins.

Rushden Man Reported Killed

We are sorry to record that unofficial news has been received of the death of Pte. F. Burgess, of the 1st Royal Scots, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Burgess, of Bedford-road, Rushden. Pte. Burgess had been in the Army nearly seven years. He came with his regiment from India in October last, and after a short period at home went to the front. Some few weeks ago a surprise meeting took place between Pte. Burgess and his cousin at the front. The two soldiers were talking together, and after some time found that they were related. Since then they have stuck together. On Wednesday afternoon, however, a letter was received from the cousin stating the sad news that Pte. Burgess was badly wounded on June 9th, and died the next day. Mr. and Mrs. Burgess have received no official confirmation of the death of their son.

Rushden Echo, 9th June 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis

In Memoriam

In loving memory of Pte Frank Burgess, 1st Royal Scots, the beloved son of Reuben and Mary Ann Burgess, of Rushden, who died of wounds in France on June 9th, 1915, in his 25th year, and who was buried at Armentieres on June 10th, 1915. 

No mother on him did attend,
Nor o’er him did a mother bend,
No sister by to shed a tear,
No brother his last words to hear;
Dead, lying in a foreign land,
No father near to take his hand,
A comrade near to close his eyes;
Far from his native land he dies.

A year has passed but how we miss him,
Never will his memory fade,
And our hearts for ever linger
Round the grave, where our hero’s laid.

From his loving parents and sisters.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the War index
Click here to e-mail us