• Date of birth: 25/07/1895
  • Place of birth: Henre Hill, Victoria, Australia
  • Date of death: 04/10/1917
  • Place of death: Polygoneveld, Belgium
  • Cause of death: Killed in action (K.I.A.)
  • Age: 22
  • Profession: Clerk
  • Country: Australia
  • Rank: Gunner
  • Service number: 1674
  • Enlistment date: 17/5/1915
  • Enlistment place: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Last known unit: Australian Field Artillery, 53rd Bty.
  • Force: Australian Imperial Force


Additional information

Gunner Eric Burgess served in the 53rd Battery, part of the 14th Field Artillery Brigade of the 5th Australian Division. He previously served in the 23rd Bn. Australian Infantry in Gallipoli. He was wounded in 1915 and again in 1916 in Pozières, France. After his second evacuation Eric was transferred to the 14th Australian Field Artillery Brigade. Eric was "claimed" by his brother, Joseph Bird Burgess, and transferred to the 53rd Battery of the 14th Field Artillery Brigade. Joseph probably wanted his little brother by his side. On October 4 1917, the 14th Field Artillery Brigade took part in the Battle of Broodseinde, a phase of the Third Battle of Ypres. His artillery Brigade, along with the 13th, set up their guns between the hamlets of Polygoneveld and Westhoek. Both brothers, served at the same gun. They had to provide artillery support for the 2nd Australian Infantry Division. The attack started in the early morning with a heavy artillery barrage on the German positions. At about 7 am, both the 13th and 14th artillery brigades were targeted by the German artillery. A German shell hit the ammunition stack of the gun of Eric and Joseph Burgess. The explosion killed the entire crew of four soldiers, together with a soldier and an officer of another battery close by. Joseph and his brother died side-by-side and were buried next to each other at The Huts Cemetery.