CWG: Rifleman Frederick Burstow

Rifleman Frederick Burstow

Frederick William Burstow was born in the summer of 1893, and was one of thirteen children. His parents were plasterer Alfred Burstow and his wife, Lydia. Both came from Sussex, and it was in Bexhill-on-Sea where they raised their family.

There is little documented about Frederick’s early life, but he sought a life outside of Sussex and, in around 1900, he enlisted in the 2nd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade, serving in India for a time.

Rifleman Burstow was still serving when, in August 1914, war was declared. His battalion was sent to France that November, and he ended up serving two terms on the Western Front.

In the summer of 1915, Frederick married Priscilla Epps. She was from Faversham, Kent, and this is where the couple set up home together.

It was while on his second term in France that Rifleman Burstow became ill. He had contracted enteric fever – also known as typhoid – and, at the beginning of 1916, he was sent home to recuperate. While here, Priscilla gave birth to a child, Alice.

Sadly, however, Frederick’s condition was to get the better of him: he passed away at home on 16th March 1916, at the age of just 24 years old.

Frederick William Burstow was laid to rest in the Borough Cemetery in his adopted home town of Faversham.


Rifleman Frederick Burstow
(from ancestry.co.uk)

Frederick was not the only Burstow family member to die during the war. His older brother, Arthur Edward James Burstow, fought on the Western Front with the 2nd Battalion of the London Regiment.

Private Burstow was caught up in the fighting in Arras in the spring of 1918, and was killed in action on 13th April. He was 38 years of age, and left behind a widow and six children.

Arthur Edward James Burstow is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium.


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