BURSTON, Rowland John

No. 65135, Private, Rowland John BURSTON
Aged 28

Royal Army Medical Corps, 68th Field Ambulance
Died of Illness on Wednesday 12th December 1917

Rowland was born in August 1889, in Kingsley, Staffs (Cheadle Q3-1889 6B:326) son of Rowland John and Elizabeth BURSTON (née HAMPSON). Baptised at Ipstones, Staffs on 3rd September 1889.

1891 census...Aged 2, Rowland was at Oakedge, Shugborough with his father Rowland John BURSTON [31] a gamekeeper, born Kingsley; his mother Elizabeth [26] born Knowsley,Lancashire; sister Mary M G [3] born Chiddleton, Staffs and brother Arthur [ 6 weeks], born Colwich.

1901 census...Aged 12, he was at Swimley Cottage, Bockleton with his parents, sister Gertrude (Mary Maria Gertrude); brother Arthur recorded now as born Wolsley and aged 9; brother Ernest [8] born Wolsley; brother Frederick C [6] born Kingsley; sister Ethel [4] born Kingsley; brother Herbert E [2] born Bockleton and sister Beatrice A [5 months] born Bockleton.

1911 census...Aged 23, still single, a gamekeeper boarding with Albert and Alice Prosser at Wood Cottage, Hay, Herefordshire. His parents and several siblings were at Kingsley Holt, Cheadle. There were 3 new siblings, Edith Agnes[8] Reginald James [5] and Francis Edward [4]. It is recorded that of 12 children live born, 11 were still living and 3 had died ?.

On 19th April 1912, in Snailwell Parish Church (near Newmarket), he married Fanny EVERALL [16-3-1884]. Her background is unknown as no Everall ( or Burston) family name has been found in the 1911 census for any local county. Possibly Rowland and Fanny were staff on the Tharp family estate. The only connection with the Newmarket/Eriswell area is the marriage in Snailwell and Rowland enlisting in Newmarket. Fanny's address after his death was Vineyards, Rowley Lane, Bodenham, Herefordshire, which was the address he gave on enlistment.

He enlisted in Newmarket on 29th July 1915, giving his age as 28 yrs 11 months, a gamekeeper, of The Vineyard, Rowley Lane, Bodenham, Herefordshire. He was 5'6" (167.6 cm)tall, weighed 127 lbs (57.8 kg) with a chest of 36" to 39" (91.4 to 99.1 cm). He had lost the tip of his right index finger, was bow legged and had flat feet.
He went to France via Southampton-Le Havre on 5/6th September 1915, with remarkably little time for military training. He was only in France until 26th November 1915 when he appeared in Salonika. Possibly his stay in France was a slow transit to Greece.
Admitted to hospital in Salonika for an unknown reason on 28th June 1916, posted to "amb" (Ambulance?) train 26th August, then to Conv Depot (Convalescent?) he returned to duty on 30th September.
Admitted to No 31 C.C.S. on 9th December 1917 he died of pneumonia 3 days later, officially declared to be due to exposure during military service.
His widow received a pension of 13/9 per week (less than 70 p).

photo courtesy Martin Hordern and www.roll-of-honour.com

His Army records show the receipt by his wife of his 1914-15 Star and of his service at that time

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Rowland Burston is buried in Sarigol Military Cemetery, Kriston, Greece, grave D:601

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