BURGG, Robert

No. 14924, Private, Robert BURGG
Aged 26

Norfolk Regiment, 9th Battalion
Missing in Action on Sunday 26th September 1915

Robert Henry BURGG was born in Hockwold cum Wilton. He seems to have been registered as Robert Henry BUGG [Thetford Q2 1888 4B:411] Strangely his sisters Caroline and Ruth do have Burgg as registered names

1891 census...He was Robert H BUGG, aged 2, living at Cross Road, Hockwold with Wilton with father Alfred BUGG [35] Agricultural labourer born Bury St Edmunds; his mother Mary Jane BUGG (née GODBOLD)[34] born Hockwold; sister Caroline [1] born Hockwold and half brother Charles H Godbold [12] born Hockwold. Alfred and Mary married in 1887 (Thetford Q4 4B:963)

1901 census...Aged 12, he was Robert BUGG, at Nursery Lane, Hockwold with his half brother Charles GODBOLD; his mother Mary J BUGG (recorded as married); sister Caroline [19],sister Ruth [9], grandfather William GODBOLD [90] and a visitor Violet Lambert..All were born in Hockwold. His father has not been 100% identified, but an Alfred BUGG died in 1906 aged 47 in Mutford qtr 4.

Robert BURGG seems to have been a bit of lad, fined 5 s.6d with costs for poaching in 1905, and Robert BURGG and Charles Godbold were fined 10 shillings each in 1907, pleading guilty to stealing a fence post.

1911 census...ged 22, single, a waggoner working for James Whitehand at Breckles Farm, Hockwold Fen Pea?, Brandon. Sister Caroline was a servant in Thetford, sister Ruth was living with the GODBOLD family in Hockwold. His mother Mary Jane BURGG died in 1910

The constant interchange of surnames has been considered but Robert's parents still elude some records, althouh by the time of his death, his sister Caroline recorded that they were dead.

Despite the paucity of his civilian documents, at least some of Robert's Army records survive:
Attested on 7th September in Norwich, Robert gave his age as 26 years and 87 days, occupation labourer, place of birth Hockwold. His civilian address is unclear but appears to be c/o ?? Nordelph. He was 5' 4" (162.6 cm) tall, weighed 132 lbs (60.1 kg), chest 36" to 38" (91.4 to 96.5 cm), with brown eyes, dark brown hair and Church of England.
He joined the 9th Norfolks on 12th September 1914 and arrived in France on 30th August 1915. He was killed in an un-named place on 26th September 1915.
One paper regarding his effects, dated May 1917 gives his next of kin as Mrs Alfred Burgg c/o Mr W Yarnell,Bridge Cottage, Thorney, Peterborough.
By April 1919 correspondence from his half brother Charles Henry GODBOLD to the Army, regarding pension, gave Charles GODBOLD [40] as next of kin, living in Hockwold; full sister Miss Caroline BURGG [29] of Thetford Road, Brandon, and full sister Mrs Ruth ??? of Barton Bendish, Stoke Ferry. Also recorded no living parents or grandparents
Later correspondence regarding any monies owed to Robert was between the Army and sister Caroline who stated that she knew of no will and that she had now discovered that her father had died in the Bury St Edmunds infirmary (but no date was given).

The 9th Norfolks arrived in France on 30th August 1915. Then from Bethune they went to Lonely Tree Hill south of La Basse Canal.Their fellow battalions in the 71st Brigade were the 8th Bedfords, 9th Suffolks and 11th Essex.
On 26th September they were ordered at 3:30 pm to assist 20th Brigade in its attack on the quarries west of Hulluch, their target being Vendin-le-Vieil. The attack began at 6:45 but the German fire was so heavy, especially from snipers, that they made little or no progress and were forced to seek cover in the trenches. It was hard enough for fresh troops, yet to become accustomed to battle, and when German rifle fire became intense on their reverse slope trench they had to fall back to the trenches in the rear to get cover.
Of their other ranks on the 26th, 39 were killed, 122 wounded and 34 were missing.

Robert Burgg is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France panels 30-31

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