Richard Ellis Burford

Second Lieutenant
Essex Regiment
Date of death 
8 October 1918
Age of death 
2 Myrtle Villas
Maybank Road
South Woodford
E18 1EB
Address source 
1911 Census
Cemetery / Memorial 

Born in 1887 at Woodford, son of Richard (House Painter) and Emily Elizabeth Burford. 1901: A Great Eastern Railway Clerk since 2nd January1, living with his parents at “Cuckfield” St Thomas’s Terrace, Maybank Road, South Woodford. 1911: Still a Clerk with the GER Stores Department, and living with his family at 2 Myrtle Villas, Maybank Road, South Woodford. His father died in 1914. In the summer of 1918 he married Lucy May Foot. His Probate shows their home as “St Thomas’s” Gordon Road, South Woodford. Lucy is later recorded as living at number 64 Gordon Road. Richard was Hon.Sec. to the GER Mechanics Institution Rifle Club, where he was a described as a crack shot

He joined C Squadron (Epping & Waltham Abbey) Troop, Essex Yeomanry in 1908, was mobilised in 08-14, and served with them until Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Essex Regiment on 27th July 1918. He was later attached to 9 Norfolk.

On 4th October 1918 the Battalion moved into trenches in preparation for an attack to the north east of St Quentin. They advanced at 05.10 on 8th October 1918 until they reached a sunken road from Brancourt to Fresnoy le Grand, where they remained until about 15.00. American troops were nearing their objective of Brancourt, and 9 Norfolk were ordered forward to provide support. Unfortunately they found themselves caught by machine gun fire from both Brancourt and Jonnecourt, sustaining heavy casualties as a result. They were withdrawn to their start point at 18.20, and those who remained consolidated into two Companies rather than the four which had set out at 05.10 that morning.

The Regimental history reveals it was during this advance that Richard Burford sustained his fatal wounds.

In 2003 his medals and memorial plaque were sold at auction for £500.

He is remembered on the Great Eastern Railway Memorial at Liverpool Street Station.

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian


Regimental History