Gnr Burgess Joseph Bird

  • Year of birth: 1892
  • Place of birth: Benalla, Victoria, Australia
  • Date of death: 04/10/1917
  • Place of death: Polygoneveld, Belgium
  • Cause of death: Killed in action (K.I.A.)
  • Age: 25
  • Profession: Unknown
  • Country: Australia
  • Rank: Gunner
  • Service number: 11920
  • Enlistment date: 17/7/1915
  • Enlistment place: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Last known unit: Australian Field Artillery, 53rd Bty.
  • Force: Australian Imperial Force


Additional information

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.