Gilbert Burrington 1879-1916

703727 Pte 102nd Battalion Canadian Infantry

Gilbert Burrington was born in Bridgwater on 13 June 1879. He was the second son of bank manager Gilbert George Burrington and Amelia Frances Bryant. In 1881 Gilbert had an older and a younger sister and the family, living in West Street, employed two servants. In 1891 the family lived in 98 Westfield and Gilbert had three further younger brothers, including Harley Burrington. He attended school at King's in Gloucester. He does not appear on the 1901 or 1911 UK census and at some point before the war he emmigrated to Canada with some of his siblings. However he was certainly in Britain in 1913, when on 27 December he married Marienne Emily Harries in Penbroke, Wales. When in Canada he served as deputy Gamewarden under the Provencial Government of British Columbia.

He enlisted in the Canadian Infantry in February 1916. He served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France from July and was killed on the Somme 21 Nov 1916. On his death his wife was living at the "Harbur," Reigate Road, Epsom, Surrey. On 27 December 1917 the Bridgwater Mercury reported that 'Private Gilbert Burrington of Canadian Infantry, but formerly of Westfield House was killed instantaneously by a shell in the trenches in France on November 21st. He has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery and gallant conduct. He was well known and highly esteemed in the Bridgwater district and was a keen cricketer having played for the county'.

He was apparently buried at Albert. His body has subsequently been lost, but his name is recorded on the Vimy memorial in the Pas de Calais. His name was included in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, from where the picture is taken. His name was added to the family memorial in the Wembdon Road Cemetery, number 140, the inscription reads: 'Ellen Atwell wife of Edwin H. Burrington who died October 24th 1883 aged 58 years. Edwin H. Burrington who died January 16th 1892 aged 71 years. In Memory of Harley Burrington who died for his country July 23rd 1915 aged 31 years buried at Boulogne. In Memory of Arthur Alfred Burrington who died at San Vigilio, Italy on Oct 9th 1924 aged 68. In Memory of Gilbert Burrington died for his country on the Somme Nov 21st 1916 aged 32 years. In Memory of Gilbert George Burrington May 22nd 1908 aged 55 years. Madeline Burrington died May 12th 1890 aged 16 months Harry Herbert Burrington, died Dec. 3 1877 aged 26.'


Official news has been received of the death of Private Gilbert Burrington of the 102nd battalion Canadian Infantry, second son of the late Mr. Gilbert George Burrington, formerly of Westfield House, Bridgwater, who was killed instantaneously by a shall while serving in the trenches in France on November 21st. It is announced that he has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery and gallant conduct and his death will be greatly deplored by a wide circle of friends. He was well known and highly esteemed in the Bridgwater District and was a keen and clever cricketer, having played for the county for several seasons.

The late Private Burrington, who was 37 years of age, was educated at King's School Gloucester and went to Canada about ten years ago. He relinquished the post of game warden in British Colombia to serve his country and had been at the front for about four months. He was married on December 27th 1913 [at Haverford West, Pembrokeshire, Wales] to Miss Marianne E. Harries, fourth daughter of Mrs Harries of Tregwynt, Pembrokeshire and leaves one son. He (Gilbert) was a nephew of Mrs Trevor (nee Kate Burrington) of 'Halesleigh', Wembdon Road, Bridgwater. It will be remembered that a brother of the deceased, Private Harley Burrington, also of the Canadians, was killed in action at an earlier stage in the war. Three other brothers are still serving, one in the Canadian, another in the Somersets and the third in the Remount Department.

Much sympathy will be felt for the members of the family in their bereavement. Mrs Burrington (mother of the deceased) is at present residing at Burnham, and her sorrow must be tinged with pride at the splendid part played by her sons in the war.

Note by R. De Smet

According to a Mr Christopher Barrington who is writing a book (1993) on the History of Bridgwater Cricket this obituary is wrong about this Gilbert playing for Somerset. He says 'certainly did not play in any first class match. Possibly might have played in a friendly match or may have appeared for the Somerset Stragglers. Two Burringtons who did play first class matches for Somerset were: George Burrington born 1864 at Tiverton, died Newhaven Sussex 1942. He played three matches for Somerset 1901-1902. Humphrey Sandford Burrington born April 5th 1882 Bridgwater died April 15th 1957, played five matches for Somerset 1903-1905'.

Marianne Emily Burrington died at Epsom, Surrey on 28/7/1950, leaving a will (aged 68).