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Private Herbert F. Burton

3/10296 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

The Late Pte. H. F. BurtonSon of Mr George & Mrs Emily Burton

Aged 27 years

Died 9th May 1915

Commemorated on Le Touret Memorial
Panel 28 to 30

Born Rushden and enlisted at Northampton.

Rushden Echo Friday June 11th 1915, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Rushden Soldier Killed - Private Herbert F. Burton - 'Every Inch A Soldier - Going Into the Thick of It'

Another of Rushden's gallant sons has given his life for his King and country. Mr. and Mrs. George Burton, of Rushden, on Friday last received an official notification from the War Office that their younger son, Private Herbert F. Burton, of the 1st Northants, was killed in action on May 9th. His parents, prior to the receipt of the sad news, had had fears for his safety, as since the battle of May 9th they have received no letters from him, although up to that time he used to write to them regularly.    

The late Private Burton, who was born in Rushden, was 27 years of age. By trade he was a boot operative and worked for Mr. C. W. Horrell, but for 12 months prior to his enlistment he had very indifferent health, and it was a great surprise to his relatives when on August 24th he succeeded in passing for his Majesty's forces. He developed into a first-class marksman, and in consequence was soon drafted to D Company, and was sent to the front in November. Whilst at the front he was on two or three occasions sent into hospital through minor ailments, but on each occasion made a good recovery and was sent back to the trenches. In the last letter he sent to his brother under date May 8th he said, "Good-bye, old chap, we are just going into the thick of it", so it looks as if he had some premonition of what was to be.

Since receiving the sad news from the War Office, the late Private Burton's brother wrote to the Quartermaster-Sergt. of D Company, asking for particulars of his brother's death, and the following reply came to hand yesterday morning:— "With reference to your letter dated June 2nd I regret to state that 10296, Pte. H. Burton, was reported killed in action on May 9th. As Quartermaster-Sergt. of his Company I knew him well. I can assure you that the Company has sustained a great loss, as he was every inch a soldier and well respected by all who knew him. I ask you, on behalf of his Company, to accept our deepest sympathy in your great loss, and I trust that God will give you the strength to bear your trouble bravely. Believe me to remain, Yours sincerely, F. S. Webb"

Mr. and Mrs. Burton, who have lived 30 years in Rushden, are well-known and respected in the town and have received many expressions of sympathy in their sore bereavement.

Rushden Argus, 11th June 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

A Fine Shot – Higham Ferrers Man Falls in Big Battle

We are sorry to record the death of another brave Higham Ferrers soldier, Pte. Herbert F. Burton, of the lst Northants Regiment, whose parents until recently resided at Westfields, Higham Ferrers. For a year previous to the war Pte. Burton was in poor health, and suffered from rheumatism, and could not follow his usual occupation. On August 24th, however, he surprised all his friends and relations by enlisting in Kitchener's Army. He was a fine shot, and because of this he was quickly transferred to the "D" Company, 1st Northants Regiment, and sent to the front early in November. While at the front his health failed again and he was in hospital several times. Pte. Burton's parents (Mr. and Mrs. G. Burton) heard no news whatever of him since the big battle on May 9th, until an official statement was received on Friday last, string that he was killed in action. Mr. and Mrs. Burton, who have lived 50 years in Rushden and four years in Higham Ferrers, have received widespread sympathy in their sad bereavement.
Note: although this report is headed 'Higham Ferrers Man' – he does not appear on the HF war memorial.

Evening Telegraph, Thursday 17th June 1915, Kettering Leader, Friday 30th July 1915, transcribed by John Collins.

How Pte. Burton, of Rushden, Met his Death

Mrs. Burton, of Cromwell-road, Rushden, has received details of her son’s death in response to an enquiry, which we inserted for her some weeks ago in the “Telegraph” and “Argus.”

Mr. W. Patenall, a friend of Mrs. Burton, writes to us:-

Dear Sir, - A few weeks ago I asked you to insert an enquiry in the “Wellingborough News” and “Argus” in reference to H. F. Burton. I am very pleased to say it had the desired effect, as you will see by the enclosed copy. – Yours truly, W. Patenall.

Dear Madam, - Just a few lines to you to put your mind at rest about your son, Pte. H. F. Burton, who was killed on May 9th. It was a fearful battle; in fact, the worst we have ever had. I came out here myself on the 13th of August, and I am very pleased to say I have been through the whole campaign without a scratch. I came out of the firing line with a message to the Adjutant to let him know they were firing on our wounded. I was sent back to tell everyone to get out that could, wounded or not. We dare not come out before we got the order, so when they were firing on the wounded Lance-Corpl. Cachrell asked me to go with the message. I went down a ditch of water about two feet deep. When I was coming out from delivering my message, Pte. Burton, I understood him to say, was wounded in the leg, and he had crawled within six yards of the trench. I had to drop down before I got to him, as they were shelling us. I did not have a very lively time myself, I can tell you. I got a shrapnel bullet through my water bottle, a bullet through my cap, and my coat, but as I made another attempt to get out I said to your son, “Where have you got it, mate?” He replied, “In the leg.” I said, “Hold still, I will carry you out,” but I am sorry to say my task was settled. I got within three yards of him, and a bullet hit him in the head, and he was gone in no time. It did not freshen me up much. I can say that any man that got out alive of the battle of Aubers Ridge on May the 9th were lucky men. I have been through the whole campaign, until I was obliged to leave them on the 13th of May with rheumatism, but I am pulling round nicely, and expect to be back soon at the front with the lads, but I am not shaking on going up again. I do not worry much when I am up there; it is the best to keep going until they stop you. If you think you will dodge a bullet by stopping you might get in a worse street. If they have got one for you it will meet you without stopping for it. The hardest thing that has hit me is I have lost all my pals, but pleased to say they all went peaceably, doing their duty to King and Country. Your son was buried comfortably with the other lads. Now I must come to a close, with deepest sympathy from me and all the lads of the 1st Northamptonshire Regiment, - I remain, yours sincerely, Pte. G. W. Munns, “D” Co. 1st Northamptonshire Regt.

Evening Telegraph, Monday 26th July 1915, transcribed by John Collins.

News Wanted

We recently reported the death of Pte. H. F. Burton, of the 1st Northants Regiment. Mrs. Burton, now residing at 124 Cromwell-road, Rushden, would be thankful for news about his death and burial from any soldier at the front, or wounded.

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