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Soldier Profile – 2nd Lt. Philip Galson Burgess

Name & Rank: 

2nd Lieutenant Philip Gulson Burgess

Close-up sepia toned image of a First World War officer with cap and thin moustache

Close-up of 2nd Lieutenant Philip G. Burgess, cropped from a photograph of the officers of the 8th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment taken in Blackdown, 1915.

Regimental Number:


Birth date & Location:

4 April 1891 in Loughborough, Leicester, UK


John Gulson and Jessie Anne Burgess

Family Profile: 

Philip Gulson Burgess was one of five children born to John and Jesse Anne who eventually settled in Belsize House, Worthing, Surrey.  John worked as an accountant and the family employed two servants in their household.  Philp and his brother, Eustace, were educated at the Sherborne School.  Philip took part in the epic Sherborne Pageant of 1905 playing a role in Chapter 10 “The School Receives Its Charter“.  Additionally, he led School House to the House Challenge Cup in Jr. Football as team captain. After graduating, Burgess trained as an engineer at  Alfred Herbert Ltd. in Coventry.  He rode a Humber motorcycle, which was stolen in 1914, but discovered and returned to him.

Philip’s older brother, Eustace, was a private with the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) from 1915 until he was wounded at the Battle of Cambrai in October 1918.  He was awarded the Silver War Badge for his service.

Service Profile:

Burgess was initially recruited, in 1914, into the Public School Corps among others working at Alfred Herbert, but eventually served with The Queen’s, becoming a Second Lieutenant.  He was wounded in action during the Battle of Loos on September 26, 1915. It was a little over a month since his arrival in France.  He was noted as missing in the Regimental Diary on September 26 after a disastrous attack that led to over 400 causalities. Burgess was taken prisoner along with several other officers and enlisted men.  The Coventry Standard reported that he died while a prisoner in the St. Clotilde German Army Hospital in Douai, France, on October 13, 1915. He is buried in the Douai Communal Cemetery and his name appears on the Worthing War Memorial as well as the War Memorial Staircase and Book of Remembrance at the Sherborne School.

page from WWI book of remembrance featuring photo of P.G. Burgess and symbols of The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)

Page from the Sherborne School Book of Remembrance, Courtesy of the Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.

Death date & Location:

13 October 1915 at the St. Clothilde German Army Hospital, Douai, France

Link to CWGA entry:

https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty details/321424/PHILIP%20GULSON%20BURGESS/

Links to OA records accessed:

Special thanks to Archivist Rachel Hassall at the Sherborne School.  The online collections of the Sherborne School Archives and Flickr albums are excellent resources.