Monday, 20 October 2014

Shefford Man Under Fire

Robert Burnage [photograph from Roll of Honour]

Tuesday 20th October 1914: The following letter home has been received by Mr and Mrs James Burnage of Ampthill Road, Shefford from their son Sergeant Robert Burnage, who is serving at the front with the Bedfordshire Regiment:
"I received the tobacco all right. I suppose you have read a lot about this war. Well,  we don't get much time to read papers, and we cannot get them very often, but when we do we are very glad to read them to learn the news, for you at home know more about it than we do. We do not know where we are going to, nor when we start off. I have not had any beer since we arrived here on the 15th August. You have read about the Battle of Mons. Well, I shall never forget it. It was rather hot for the first time of being under fire. It was different from anyone trying to learn a bicycle a little bit at a time, for this was all at once. The shells burst all around us. It was a terrible affair. We were rather lucky in not losing many men. I suppose you have heard about George Endersby being wounded."
Souce: Ampthill and District News 31st October 1914

Note: Robert Burnage was killed on 9 November 1914 aged 29, just three weeks after writing this letter on 18th October. He is commemorated on Le Touret memorial to the missing. George Endersby appears to have survived the war.

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