Victor Edward Burgess
2nd/17th London Regiment (London Rifles)
Victor Edward Burgess was the youngest son of Mr Alfred Henry Burgess, of 15, Dorothy Street, Reading. He is commemorated on the family grave. Victor Burgess was killed on sentry duty on the 3rd July 1916, aged 29.
A report in the Reading Chronicle 14th July 1916 outlines the incident and gives details of his life before the war. He had enlisted in October 1915 in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Twice he had been rejected for service before being transferred to the London Rifles. At the time he was killed Victor Burgess was on sentry duty and was struck by a grenade, dying instantly. An officer writing to his father stated,” He died on duty and no man can do more for his King and country. As one of his officers I feel his loss keenly. He was one of the most conscientious men we had, and was very much liked by his comrades. He was the first of his company to lay down his life for his country”. Victor Burgess had been at the front only a couple of weeks.
Victor Burgess had been born in London and came to Reading as a lad. He had been educated at the Central and British Schools and then took up gardening for a livelihood. He had worked for the Rev. W.H. Mahony; Mr Martin H. F. Sutton; the Marquess of Ormonde (Kilkenny Castle); Mr Larnach (Lanwadie Hall, Suffolk); Mrs Adair (Engfield Green, Surrey; Rev. H.S. Musgrave, East Chitlington, Lewes. Whilst at Lewes he had joined the Local Volunteer Force. Victor Burgess was an active member of the Y.M.C.A. and the C.E.M.S.
Victor Burgess is buried at Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Mont-Saint-Eloi. Location III.A.28. Here successive Divisions used the French Military tramway to bring their dead in from the front trenches.
*February 22nd 2000