Joseph Bird Burgess

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Benalla, Victoria, Australia

Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
 —  Australian Field Artillery, 53rd Bty. 14th Bde.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Polygoneveld, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


The Huts Cemetery
Plot: IX
Row: C
Grave: 8

Distinctions and medals 2

British War Medal
Medal — 15/05/1922
Victory Medal

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place

My story

Gunner Joseph Bird Burgess served in the 53rd Battery, part of the 14th Field Artillery Brigade of the 5th Australian Division.

On October 4 1917, his unit took part in the Battle of Broodseinde. His brigade along with the 13th set up their guns between Polygoneveld and Westhoek. His brother, gunner Eric Burgess, served with him at the same gun. He ‘claimed’ his brother after he was wounded in Gallipoli and Pozières, France. He probably wanted his little brother by his side. They had to provide artillery support for the 2nd Australian Infantry Division.

The attack began with a heavy artillery barrage in the early morning. At about 7 am, the two artillery brigades were targeted by the German artillery. A German shell hit the ammunition of the gun and 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 are buried next to each other at The Huts Cemetery.

Connection to other soldiers 1

Files 1

Sources 9

"Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18 Vol. IV The A.I.F. in France 1917", C. E. W. Bean, Angus and Robertson Ltd., 1943, 839.
Sources used
"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 99.
Sources used
Australian War Memorial
Sources used
Sources used
National Archives of Australia
Sources used
The AIF Project
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
Sources used
War Diary A.I.F. Headquarters, 14th Australian Field Artillery Brigade
Sources used
War Diary A.I.F. HQ, 5th Australian Artillery Brigade
Sources used