Thame Remembers Lance Corporal Edward Benoni Burgess
Edward Benoni Burgess was born in Transvaal, South Africa on the 17th June 1892. His father was Alfred Augustus Burgess, a gentleman, and his mother Ada Eliza (nee Jones). Travelling to England at a few months of age, he was baptised at St John the Baptist church, Bisley, Surrey, on 28th August 1893.
After his parents were divorced in 1898, Edward, and his elder brother Alfred, went to live with his maternal grandparents in Skittle Green, Haddenham, and both were educated at Lord Williams’s Grammar School in Thame.
He returned to South Africa after leaving school, and was employed as a pumpman. On 23rd August 1915 he enlisted in the 4th South African Scottish Regiment, joining B Company which was formed primarily from men of the Transvaal Scottish Regiment. The regiment, as part of the 1st South African Infantry Brigade, embarked from Cape Town for England on the 25th August 1915 where they spent two months training at Bordon in Hampshire.
In January 1916 the brigade sailed for Egypt to help quell a local uprising, before being transferred to the western front, landing in Marseilles in April 1916. The Regiment suffered heavy casualties throughout the war, particularly at Delville Wood on the Somme in July 1916.
In December 1917, Edward, by now a Lance Corporal, was severely wounded, and evacuated to hospital in Rouen where his right leg was amputated at the thigh, and left leg fractured. He died of his wounds on the 6th January 1918 and was buried in the local cemetery.
5266 Lance Corporal Edward Benoni Burgess, South African Scottish Regiment is buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France. He is commemorated in Thame on Lord Williams’s School honours board and is also remembered on Haddenham war memorial.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France
10th May 2016
by Gill Bellis (Former teacher at Lord Williams's School)