H.G.(Fred) Burgess. WW1

Trayton Charles Douglas Burgess was Fred's proper name but he seems to have been known as Fred and he even enlisted in the army with this name. It is not clear where the initials H. G. arise. Fred was born in Kensington, London in the first quarter of 1898 but moved back to Bishopsteignton, childhood home of his mother Kate Gourd. Fred joined the 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment as a Private No 3/7063. He died of wounds in France / Flanders on Saturday 11 August 1917 aged 19 years.

Early Life

Trayton Charles Douglas Burgess was Fred’s proper name but he seems to have been known as Fred and he even enlisted in the army with this name. It is not clear where the initials H. G. arise.
Fred was born in Kensington, London in the first quarter of 1898 but moved back to Bishopsteignton, childhood home of his mother Kate Gourd.[1]

His father was Trayton Burgess also, born in Sussex and Fred’s mother was Kate Gourd who had been born in Bishopsteignton.  In the 1901 census Fred’s father’s occupation was milk carrier.

Fred had two brothers – Sidney James Burgess born in 1899 and Stanley Arthur Burgess born in 1901.  Sadly both Fred’s father Trayton and his baby brother Stanley died in 1902 and it seems that Kate then returned to her birthplace of Bishopsteignton with Fred and Sidney.

In 1907 Kate married George Henry Glass who was a horseman on a farm.  He was 12 years younger than Kate and in the 1911 census Kate and George now have two children, Clifford aged 2 years and Phyllis aged 1 year, both born in Bishopsteignton.  At this time Fred was a baker’s apprentice and the family lived in Fore Street, The Triangle.

Military Experience

Fred enlisted in the army at Exeter  as a private in the 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment.  His regimental number was 3/7063. According to the Devonshire Regiment’s war diaries the 2nd Battalion was based in 1917 in an old German dugout under the Ypres- Roulers Railway in Wylde Wood and there were various attacks in which it is possible that Fred was involved .[2]

Death and Burial

He died of wounds in France / Flanders  on Saturday 11 August 1917 aged 19 years.

He is buried in Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport  which is a small sea port 25k north east of Dieppe and was an important hospital centre in World War I.

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission  his precise location at Mont Huon is III A. 4B with the following inscription

“IN LOVING MEMORY THOUGH DEATH HAS CLAIMED HIM HE LIVES GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN”

Son of Kate Glass of Bishopsteignton.[3]

Descendants

Are you a descendant of the Burgess family? Do you have any photographs of Fred Burgess? Please do get in touch.

 

 

References and credits

This article was written by Ian Roberts and Jessica Gibby

1.“Four times a year all the registers for England & Wales were collated into a single countrywide index, arranged alphabetically by surname.

The indexes to the registers are quarterly rather than annual in scope – the four quarters being known as March, June, September and December. Each of these covers the month itself and the two preceding months, as follows:

•January, February, March registrations in the March quarter
•April, May, June registrations in the June quarter
•July, August, September registrations in the September quarter
•October, November, December registrations in the December quarter” https://www.findmypast.co.uk/content/expert-bmd

2. https://www.keepmilitarymuseum.org/history/first+world+war/the+devonshire+regiment/the+second+battalion

3.https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/468654/burgess,-fred/

 

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