No.R/627, Able Seaman, Bertie BURROWS
Aged 20

Anson Battalion, Royal Naval Division, RNVR
Killed in Action on Tuesday, 6th November 1917

Bertie Burrows was born in Bardwell on 13th November 1897 (Thingoe Q4-1897 4A:811), son of Harry and Sarah BURROWS (née BOLINGBROKE).

1901 census...Aged 3, he was at 2 The Green, Bardwell with his father Harry BURROWS [43] horse keeper ; his mother Sarah [43]; brothers Benjamin [19] and Arthur [17] both farm labourers, William [15] shepherd's page and Garry [12]; sisters Minnie [10], Elizabeth [6] and Annie[1]. All were born in Bardwell.

1911 census...Aged 13, he was still at The Green, Bardwell with his parents, brothers William, Harry and Alfred [8] born Bardwell; sister Annie. His mother had borne 14 children but 3 had died.

He enlisted 29th January 1916 and was placed on the Army Reserves and then mobilised on 17th January 1917 in the Royal Naval Division. He was 5 feet 4.25 inches (163 cm) tall, weighed 125 lbs (56.9 kg), chest 35.5" (90.2 cm), Church of England, brown eyes, dark brown hair. A farm labourer from Bardwell, a non swimmer, next of kin his father Harry BURROWS at The Green, Bardwell.
Taken on strength of 3rd Reserve Battalion 20th January 1917, he was drafted to Anson Battalion British Expeditionary Force on 15th April and promoted Able Seaman. 4th September he was admitted to 149 Field Ambulance with synovitis to the knee, returning to his unit on 27th September. Killed in Action on 6th November.

His entry in Du Ruvigny;s Roll of Honour" reads :-
Able Seamn, no.627, Royal Naval Division, s.of Harry Burrows, of Bardwell, co.Suffolk, by his wife, Sarah E.;b.Bardwell, 13 Nov.1898; educ. there; joined the Navy 17 Jan.1917; served with the Expeditionary Force in France for ten month, and was killed in action there 6 Nov.1917; unm.

The Royal Naval Division was set up to take men who had no ships to go to (20-30,000 in 1914). Eventually reaching 8 battalions (each with its own cap badge, they fought as infantry and in khaki uniforms. In 1916 it became the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division of the New Army.

On 6th November 1917 they were fighting in the Poelcappelle area, Anson Battalion having 16 killed.

The Bury Free Press of 24th November 1917 reported :-

Mrs.H.Burrows, of the Green, Bardwell has received the sad news from a comrade that her son Albert Burrows has paid the supreme penalty. The following is a copy of the letter:-
"D Co., Anson Batt., R.N.D., B.E.F., France:- Dear Mrs Burrows- I am now undertaking a job which I shrink from, but my Co Sergt-Major asked if I would write and tell you of your son Bert, who died from shock while in the trenches a few yards from where I stood. I am deeply touched by this.My words of sympathy cannot console you, but I am bound to express myself in some way.I have not known your son long,but what little time I have known him I always found him quite alright, and was a good lad in all his actions towards his comrades.We just received a parcel which you sent,and it is the rule that in incidents like this to give the parcel to his pals, as we think the parents would not care for them to be returned.Accept my deepest sympathy.May God's angle comfort you and all at home - A.H.Atkin".
Much sympathy os felt for Mr. and Mrs.Burrows in their great sorrow. The deceased was formerly employed by Mr. Fred Firman,Street Farm, and was a quiet and attractive lad. This brings the total loss of Bardwell boys in the war to 18.

Bertie Burrows is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial, panel 2 and3, 162 and 162A

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details