201234, Private, Albert E. BURSFORD
Aged 21

'F' Battalion, Tank Corps
(formerly 2148 Suffolk Regiment)
Died of his wounds on Tuesday 20th November 1917

Born in Newmarket in Q3-1896 [Newmarket 3b:519], son of William and Emma BURSFORD (née PLUMB) of Andrews Yard, St Mary's, Newmarket.

1901 census...Albert [4] was at Andrew's Yard, St Mary's, Newmarket with his father William [47], a stableman born in Chilton on Severn, Somerset; his mother Emma[44] born Calton, Derbyshire; his brother Harry [20], a cellarman at the brewery; sisters Florence [10] and May [9 months]. All the children were Newmarket born.

1911 census...Albert [14], an apprentice boot maker, was at 6 Wellington Square, Newmarket with his widowed mother; brother Harry (a house painter) and sister May. His father had died in 1901

His mother was at 4 Bakers Row, Exning Road, Newmarket after his death. The Newmarket Journal of 27th November 1915 published a letter from the lines from Albert. Albert's elder brother Herbert had joined the Army in 1899 and was in South Africa for the 1901 census. He stayed in South Africa and joining their Army returned to fight in France before a medical evacuation back to South Africa, and died in South Africa after the end of hostilities. see here

Albert was 1st driver in a tank, at the bridge at Masnieres, when a bullet penetrated the tank and hit him. The 2nd driver, Harold Such, moved Albert and drove the tank back to the rallying point. This driver was wounded whilst refuelling, but survived to write two letters to Emma Bursford from hospital in Glasgow. He stated that, despite all care, Albert had died and was buried on a farm near the village of Mesnieres, about 6 km south of Cambrai. This grave was obviously destroyed in later fighting, thus Albert has no known grave
The Tank Corps lost 91 killed that day, 51 of whom are commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial to the Missing

British Mk VI "Tadpole" tank on the left, and right, the tank which damaged the same Mesnieres bridge
The 1st tank to try and cross the bridge collapsed it, which disrupted the attack, was a Mk IV -F22- "Flying Fox II")

Above transcripts of letters sent to Albert's Mother by his pal
Below a scan of the original 2nd letter, unfortunately the 1st letter was too faded

No known grave - Albert is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France.Ref:panel 13
he is also commemorated on the Roll of Honour in St. Marys Church, Newmarket

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