Date of birth: 1888
Date of death: 16.8.1917
Regiment: King’s Own Scottish Borderers
Family information: Son of Benjamin and Rachel Burton
Service number: 22841
During February 1916, when still in the employment of Mr Thorpe, Frank Burton enlisted in the army. Private Frank Burton was drafted to France in June 1916, where he joined the 1st Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers.
On the 4th August 1914, when war was declared, the 1st Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers was on garrison duty at Lucknow, India. The battalion returned to England on 28th December and early in 1915, came under the orders of 87th Brigade, 29th Division. On the 18th March 1915, the 29th Division sailed from Avonmouth, bound for Gallipoli. On 24th April 1915, the 29th Division landed on the Gallipoli peninsular around Helles and during the next months was involved in battles at Krithia and Scimitar Hill. However, by the end of the year, having been unable to break-out of the Peninsular, the whole Expeditionary Force was evacuated. The 29th Division was evacuated on 2nd January 1916 and moved to Egypt, before moving to the western front, in March 1916.
In 1916, the 29th Division was in action during the Battle of Albert and attacks on the Transloy Ridge, during the Somme offensive. On 30th June the 1st Scottish Borderers took over support trenches on extreme right of 29th Division’s line, in front of Beaumont-Hamel. On 1st July, when the battalion joined the assault, they came under heavy machine gun fire and incurred many casualties, before being withdrawn at 16.00 hrs to Fort Jackson. Towards the end of July, the 29th Division left the Somme region and moved to Flanders. Here they remained, until 7th October, when they returned to the Somme.
In 1917, the 29th Division was involved in all three Battles of the Scarpe during the Arras Offensive, before moving to Flanders, in June, to take part in the third battle of Ypres. The 29th Division was deployed in the Boesinghe sector, their line running from the Ypres Canal, north of the town, eastwards towards Wieltje.
The battle began on 31st July, but the infantrymen of the 29th Division were not involved until 8th August, when they relieved the Guards Division. On the 14th August, the 1st Scottish Borderers took over the front line in the Wijdendrift Sector. On 16th August the 29th Division went forward from the Pilckem Ridge, crossing the Steenbeek and fighting over the quagmire caused by the heavy rain to gain their objectives. The 1st Scottish Borderers, on the divisional flank, pushed on ahead of the units alongside and had some hard fighting. Machine guns fire from the enemy blockhouses and pill-boxes was raking the infantry and causing casualties. During the advance, Sergeant Grimbaldeston, of 'B' Company was responsible for the single-handed capture of one of these pill-boxes and the surrender of its defenders. In addition, Company Sergeant-Major Skinner, of ’A’ Coy, was responsible for the capture of three enemy block-houses. These actions earned both men the Victoria Cross.
Private Frank Burton, of 'D' Company, 1st Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers was killed during the morning of 16th August 1917. His body was lost to the battlefield and he has no known grave, however his name is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial. This memorial, 9 miles east of Ypres, marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium, until nearly the end of the war. The Memorial now bears the names of almost 35000 officers and men from the United Kingdom and New Zealand, who died on the Ypres Salient after 16th August 1917 and who have no known grave.
Born on 1st November 1888, Frank Burton was the son of Benjamin Burton and his wife Rachel, formerly Wilson. His father was a Colliery Deputy and the family lived at Newstead Terrace, Outwood. On the 27th December 1888, Frank Burton was baptised at St Mary Magdalene Church, Outwood. In 1901, Frank was still attending school, however, his father was out of employment and the family was living at Leeds Road, Outwood. His father, Benjamin Burton, died in 1909 at the age of 63 years.
At this time Frank was employed as a boot repairer, by Mr Joe Thorpe of Leeds Road, Outwood. He was also a member of the Outwood Church Young Men’s Society. In the census of 1911, Frank and two of his brothers were living with their widowed mother at Middlefield Place, Moxon Street, Outwood.