Frank was born on 19 September 1898, the son of William Burgess (a porter) and Mary Ann Burgess, 80 Buxton Road, Great Moor, Stockport. He was probably named after his uncle, who lived nearby at 17 Woodbine Crescent and who served during the war as a Sergeant with the 6th Cheshires. His brothers and sisters also lived at the family home - Alfred, Alice, Cyril, Doris and May.
The family worshipped at St Saviour's C of E Church, Store Street. Frank attended Great Moor School between 1905 and 1912 and then worked as a gardener. He will have been conscripted into the army when he became 18 and, after training, he will have gone on active service some time after 1 January 1917 (when the six-digit service numbers were introduced).
On 13 August 1917, the 11th Cheshires were in front line positions on Westhoek Ridge, near the village of Zonnebeke, just to the east of the town centre of Ypres (now Ieper). Due to the very poor weather conditions, the Battalion had only spent two days in the line before it was relieved during the evening. The Battalion's War Diary records that enemy shelling had been particularly heavy during the two days and this was, presumably, how Frank was killed. It would account for the fact that he has no known grave and is commemorated on the nearby Memorial to the Missing.