Richard Henry BURGESS
Rank: Private
Number: S/13694
Date of Death: 14 March 1917
Age: 23
Cemetery: Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France

Richard was born in Wellington, Shropshire between October and December 1893. His parents, Samuel & Annie, later lived at Maple Road, Bramhall. Richard enlisted into the army at Manchester. The letter "S" in his service number indicates that he was not a regular soldier and had joined up for the duration of the war only.

In the days prior to his death, Richard was in the front line with the Battalion, near to the French town of Bapaume. The trenches were in a very poor state and the Battalion's War Diary records that several tons of rubbish had to be buried. The men spent the days improving the trenches and, during the hours of darkness, parties went out into No Man's Land to repair the barbed wire. All the while, they were subject to shelling from the German artillery.

On the night of 13/14 March, the Argylls were relieved from the front line and marched to reserve dug-outs at a position known as Howitzer Wood, about 5 kilomteres north west of the town of Peronne. They arrived here just after 7am and prepared to rest. Unfortunately for Richard, he was at the Battalion Headquarters dug-out when it was hit by a heavy shell. He was killed instantly. With him, were Lance Corporal Norman MacKinnon, from Ross-shire and Private Joseph Witherington, from Ashton in Makerfield. They are buried next to each at Peronne.

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