Biography

Birth date: 1896
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Geelong
Death date: 04 October 1917
Death place: Belgium
Final rank: Gunner
Service number: 1674 - First World War, 1914-1918
Units:
  • 5th Australian Field Artillery Brigade
  • 14th Australian Field Artillery Brigade
  • 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

Eric Burgess was born in Geelong, Victoria and worked as a post office clerk before the outbreak of the First World War. He enlisted briefly in August 1914 but was discharged due to illness. Burgess was successful on his second attempt, enlisting in the 2nd Reinforcements of the 23rd Battalion on 17 May 1915. He departed Melbourne aboard HMAT Demosthenes on 16 July 1915 and was fighting in the trenches at Gallipoli only a few months later.

In November 1915, Burgess was wounded and evacuated to Malta for recuperation, returning to his Battalion, now in France, in March. After several months in France with the 23rd Battalion, Burgess was "claimed" by his brother, Joseph Bird Burgess, and transferred to the 53rd Battery of the 14th Field Artillery Brigade. In April 1917, Burgess was wounded again, this time being removed to England to recover, and remained in hospital until August when he returned to the Battery. During the fighting at Passchendaele, on 4 October 1917, Eric Burgess and Joseph Burgess were both killed whilst operating the same gun. He and his brother are buried at The Huts Cemetery, Belgium.

Rolls and Awards

Roll of Honour

  • Rank: Gunner
  • Date of Death: 04 October 1917
  • Unit: 14th Australian Field Artillery Brigade

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 16 July 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Collection Items

Private Record

Burgess, Eric (Gunner, b.1896 - d.1917)

Collection relating to service of 1674 Gunner (Gnr) Eric Burgess, 53 Battery Australian Field Artillery, Gallipoli and France, 1915-1917. Collection includes copies of letters sent home to family in Australia. Copies made by Australian War Memorial 1928. Location of originals unknown. Letters... Maker: Burgess, Eric

1DRL/0162 (With records)

Digitised Collection

Letters from Eric Burgess to his Family, 1915-1917

Photostat copies of letters relating to the First World War service of 1674 Gunner Eric Burgess, 53rd Battery, 5th Australian Field Artillery Brigade. The original letters were written by Eric Burgess to his family in Australia between 4 October 1915 and 19 April 1917. The letters describe the...

RCDIG0000215

Letter from Captain Benson Charles Lewis to Joseph Bird Burgess, 1917

Photostat copy of a letter relating to service of 1674 Gunner Eric Burgess, 53rd Battery, 5th Australian Field Artillery Brigade. The original letter was written by Benson Lewis to Joseph Bird Burgess on 7 April 1917 and describes the wounding of his brother, Eric Burgess. The photostat opy was...

RCDIG0000216

Timeline

Date of birth 1896
Date of embarkation 1915-07-16
Date of death 1917-10-04