Frank Burgess was born in Macclesfield on 5 January 1893, the son of Sarah Jane (née Pickford) and Peter Burgess, a joiner.
In 1901, nine-year-old Frank was living at 19 John Street, Macclesfield with his parents and siblings Harold (11), Wilfred (4) and Kathleen (1). By 1911, the family had moved to Jackson Street (formerly Duke Street, Sutton, south Macclesfield) and included two more children: Dorothy (9) and Sydney (7). Eighteen-year-old Frank had left school and was working as a groom.
Frank's family later lived at "Hollinbank", Hollins Rd, Macclesfield.
Frank's death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 31 March 1917:
FELL FROM HIS WAGON – ASC DRIVER KILLED IN FRANCE
Mr Peter Burgess, 11 Jackson St, Macclesfield, has been informed that his son, Driver Frank Burgess, of the Army Service Corps, was accidentally killed in France on March 19th. The sad tidings were contained in a letter from Captain Everard Jones, the deceased soldier’s officer: "…your son, 3697 Driver Frank Burgess, ASC … was accidentally killed whilst on duty on the 19th March by falling off his wagon. He suffered no pain and did not regain consciousness. He was buried with full military honours… was an excellent soldier… a great favourite with his comrades…"
Born in Macclesfield 24 years ago, Driver Burgess was educated at St George’s Day School… He enlisted in September 1914, being at that time employed as a carter by Messrs Gorton and Wilson. He trained three weeks at Aldershot, and seven days later was drafted to France. Driver Burgess took part in the retreat from Mons and… had several narrow escapes, and went into hospital in consequence of being kicked by a horse.
The deceased was home on furlough in February 1916 and his parents received a letter dated the day before his death in which he stated that he expected to be home on leave during the following week. He has two brothers in the Army, one of whom was recently recommended for a commission and is now attached to an officers’ cadet battalion at Kinmel Park, North Wales. The other brother, Corpl Harold, ASC, has been serving in France for the past fourteen months.
Private Frank Burgess is buried in grave ref. VIII. A. 183. in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France. His father asked for the inscription “A NOBLE SACRIFICE” to be added to his headstone. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Frank Burgess, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Private Frank Burgess is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael's Church and St George's Church war memorials.
Brother of Harold Burgess, who served as Corporal T4/041990 in the ASC; and Wilfred Burgess, who served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the East Lancs Regiment.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
National School Admission Registers and Log-books (FindMyPast)
WWI Britain Absent Voters’ Lists (Find My Past)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 31 March 1917
Research by Rosie Rowley, Macclesfield.