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Quorn WW1 Roll of Honour - Albert Henry Burton

Died 27th April 1917, aged 22
Loos, France

Prior to the war

Albert Burton was born in Quorn and lived at what is now 11 Farnham Street (previously no 7), with his parents Joseph and Sarah Burton (née Wilmore). He was the second son of seven children.

When he left school, Albert initially went into domestic service, but immediately prior to enlisting in February 1915, he was working at Wright’s factory in the village.

Killed in action
Albert was killed in action in France on 27th April 1917, aged just 22. His parents soon received the news they had been dreading and shortly afterwards the Loughborough Herald reported that:
“…..The news was conveyed to his parents at Quorn in a letter from officers of the company, who express their high appreciation of the deceased's character and soldierly bearing…..”

Moving tributes
His devastated family paid their tributes in the Loughborough Echo on 18th May 1917:
“BURTON – Sergt A H Burton, 1st Leicesters
The beloved son of Mr and Mrs J Burton of Farnham Street, Quorn, who was killed in action April 27th 1917, aged 22 years.
Had I but seen him at the last,
And watched his dying bed,
Or heard the last sigh of his heart,
Or held his drooping head;
My heart would not have felt
Such bitterness and grief,
But God had ordered otherwise,
And now he rests in peace.
From his broken hearted Mother, Father, Brothers and Sisters”

“BURTON – Sergt A H Burton, 1st Leicesters, killed in action by a shell on April 27th 1917, aged 22 years.
Farewell, dear brother, your duty done,
For England you did your best;
‘Tis those who loved you most on earth
Will love you most in death.
From his sorrowing brother Ernest and pal Tom”

Ernest was just one year older than Albert, and Albert’s death must have hit him very hard.

The village also mourned and the Loughborough Echo reported on a memorial service held in Quorn Methodist Church on Sunday 13th May 1917:
“A memorial service was held on Sunday evening at the Wesleyan Chapel to Sergt A H Burton, who was killed in action on April 27th. The service was conducted by Mr J H Barrs, during which special reference was made to the deceased by Mr C. Gamble, who stated that he was formerly a scholar in the Sunday School. Miss Green sang “He wipes the tear from every eye,” and at the conclusion of the service the Dead March was played on the organ, and the buglers of the CLB[Church Lads Brigade] sounded the Last Post. The service was attended by a large number of sympathisers and friends of the deceased.”

The Parish Church also held a service the following week and reported it in the Quorn Parish Magazine in June 1917:
“We were very sorry indeed to learn that Sergeant Albert Burton was killed in action on April 27th. He is one of four, a father and three sons, who have all served the colours. He was marked out for a commission and would have received it had he not been killed. A memorial service was held on Saturday May 20th, at 5.0. The CLB were present from Quorn and Barrow, and the Last Post was played. May he rest in peace. May his family be consoled in their grief.”

Albert was buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery near Loos in France, but there is also a gravestone in Quorn St Bartholomew’s churchyard. The wording on the stone in the churchyard is heartfelt, but slightly unusual as it makes it sound as if he is buried there, instead of it being an ‘in memoriam’ tribute. It reads:
“In loving memory of Sergt Albert Burton
The beloved son of Joseph and Sarah Burton
Killed in action at Loos April 27 1917 Aged 22 years
Sleep on dear son your labour o’er
Your willing hands will toil no more
For me and all you did your best
May God grant you eternal rest.”

In small writing at the very bottom is written: “Also of infant son”. This refers to Joseph and Sarah’s fifth child who died aged 18 months in 1902.

Joe Burton
In later years, Albert’s father Joe was considered to be quite a character in the village. He was known as ‘Warrior Burton’, due to his exceptional Army service. He had joined the Leicestershire Regiment in April 1885, and won the Burma Medal. He had gone on to fight in the Boer War, and in 1914, at the age of 52, he joined the Royal Defence Corps. In 1948 when he was 86 years old, he was described as ‘Quorn’s oldest soldier’. See Artefact 1972 for more information and a photograph of Joe Burton.

1) A newspaper photograph of Albert Burton.
2) 11 Farnham Street where the Burton family lived.
3) Albert’s grave in France.
4) The Burton grave/memorial in St Bartholomew’s Churchyard. Click 'Enlarge' (below the image) to increase legibility.

 view larger image
 Submitted on: 2020-01-13
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman with thanks to Yvonne Burton and Dennis Powdrill
 Artefact ID: 2327
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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