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Private Herbert Burden


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#1 Rosemary Clarke

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 12:24 PM

Private Herbert Burden - Northumberland Fusiliers.

Found guilty of desertion; executed, 21 July 1915.

Aged 17 years

Remembered through the Shot at Dawn Memorial, Lichfield

#2 markl

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 12:39 PM

More details on Herbert's sad death can be seen on the BBC website

http://news.bbc.co.u.../uk/1400287.stm

#3 Stephen Nulty

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 12:09 PM

I note from CWGC that Herbert has no known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate. Could this be because his grave was lost in fighting subsequent to his execution or were those executed by their own side buried in unmarked graves?

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#4 mcderms

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 12:33 PM

Grave must have been lost. Executed men got buried albeit on the QT straight after the shooting party - there are many of the poor s0ds across France and Flanders. Was he the youngest soldier to be shot and did the courts martial know his true age?

#5 michaeldr

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 12:34 PM

QUOTE (Stephen Nulty @ Thu, 22 Jul 2004 13:09:19 +0000)
I note from CWGC that Herbert has no known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate. Could this be because his grave was lost in fighting subsequent to his execution or were those executed by their own side buried in unmarked graves?

SN

Stephen,

I think that Herbertís grave must have been lost in subsequent fighting
The example of a man SAD which I am most familiar with certainly has a marked grave: see att pic. The family even added a quote from the NT to the headstone

[Interesting that Dyett is referred to on the headstone as Lieutenant whereas his death warrant describes him as Temp. Sub Lieut. which I think is correct]

May they both rest in peace

Michael D.R.


ps: Should have added that the photograph is from Len Sellers' book 'For God's Sake Shoot Straight!'

Attached Files


Edited by michaeldr, 22 July 2004 - 12:38 PM.


#6 Stephen Nulty

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 01:06 PM

The article on BBC states “Although his age was officially recorded as 19 when he died, it seems Burden was only 17 and had presumably lied so he could see active service abroad. Mr Putkowski says it's likely the Army colluded in this deception, since Burden's real age would have been known to recruits when he first signed up before the war. “

I checked the 1901 census and found probably three candidates for our man. One aged 2, born in Bermondsey, the second aged 3 and born in Dorset and the last aged 4 born in Somerset. Being shot at 17 in July 1915 suggests that it’s the second or third, but it’s hard to be precise.

SN