Henry Burton, a plasterer, had married Alice in the late 1880s. Their first child, Elizabeth, was born in Leicester. By 1891, the family had moved to Horwich, near Bolton, and Herbert and his younger brother and sister, Sarah and John, were born there. In the late 1890s, they moved to the Portwood area of Stockport and, in 1901, were living at 10 Pool Lane.
Details of Herbert’s service are unknown and there is no record of when he enlisted. At the beginning of 1915, 80th Company was in Singapore on Empire garrison duty. It has not been possible to find any later references to it. The local newspaper reported that Herbert died at home of wounds he had received in action. However, army records published after the War indicate that he “died” – normally a reference to death from natural causes. It is possible, therefore, that he became ill in Singapore and was evacuated home.
He was known to have been in Britain at the end of 1915, as he married Winfired Evans at St Matthews Church. It is, of course, possible that he did not go overseas until after this time. He died in Stockport, at Greek Street Hospital and was buried on 9 November. The service was conducted with full military honours – a party of soldiers firing three volleys over the grave and a bugler sounding the “Last Post”.
In 1917, his sister Lizzie was married and living at 6 Bury Street. His other sister was also married and living in the Lancashire Hill area. Her husband was serving with the army. John Burton had been wounded in action and was recovering at home. The press also mentioned another brother, Harold, was serving with the Navy but he has not been identified in any other records and this may be an error.
In the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission collated its casualty records, Winifred was living at 25 Ratcliffe Street. It’s not known if she shared this home with Herbert.