SECOND LIEUTENANT G. E. BURDEKIN
3rd BATTALION THE SHERWOOD FORESTERS (NOTTINGHAMSHIRE AND DERBYSHIRE REGIMENT)
GEOFFREY ERIC BURDEKIN was the youngest son of Benjamin Thomas Burdekin, Solicitor, Sheffield, and of Emily his wife. He entered the School in 1906. He left in 1908 and from Sandhurst was gazetted to the Second Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment, and served two years in India. Failing health compelled him to resign his Commission, and on his return to England he was articled to his father as a Solicitor, in Sheffield. At the outbreak of War he applied for, and received a Commission in the Sherwood Foresters. He was killed on January 26th, 1915, at Beuvry, by a shell, while attending Orderly Room at a farm three miles behind the firing line. Age 22.
A brother Officer wrote to his father :-“If he had not been such a good Officer we might have had him with us now. It happened that on that very morning the C.Q, came to me and said that he was not satisfied with the way in which a certain Company was being run, and could I spare an Officer from mine to take it over? I told him that he could not do better than send your son to that Company, as he would soon be able to pull it together. So Geoffrey went. We were having Orderly Room and I had just left when a shell pitched in the yard, killing your son instantaneously.”
Source : Memorials Of Rugbeians Who Fell In The Great War Vol 1
BURDEKIN, GEOFFREY ERIC, 2nd Lieut., 3rd Battn. Notts and Derby Regt. (Sherwood Foresters), attd. 1st Loyal North Lancashires ; yst s. of Benjamin Thomas Burdekin, of Sheffield and Baslow, co. Derby, Solicitor, by his wife, Emily Jane, dau. of the Rev. Jeremiah Stockdale, Vicar of Baslow ; b. Sheffield, 29 March, 1893 ; educ. Bramcotc, Scarborough, Rugby and Woolwich.
He was gazetted to the 2nd Battn. Dorsetshire Regt. 20 Sept. 1911, and served with it in India for two years. In 1913 he resigned his commission owing to ill-health, and was articled to his father as a solicitor. At the outbreak of the European War he applied for a commission, and was given one in the 3rd Reserve Battn. of the Sherwood Foresters, and was afterwards attached to the 1st Loyal North Lancashire Regt. with which he was serving when he was killed in action at Beuvry, 26 Jan. 1915. He was buried at a farm near Beuvry ; unm.
His Capt. wrote : ” The circumstances under which your boy and many other valuable men lost their lives were perhaps the most unfortunate that can be imagined. We were some four Geoffrey E. Burdekin. miles distant from the firing line at the time, and it was one of three shells that happened to strike us when the battn. orderly room was being held in the morning. Being in temporary command, I was taking orderly room myself and was only some six or seven yards distant from the spot where the shell burst, and how I and the Adjutant, who was standing beside me, escaped I really don’t know, for men within a couple of yards of us were killed instantaneously. What I remember was a deafening crash, a blackness, and the noise of broken glass falling. As soon as the air had cleared of debris we saw the fearful havoc that had been caused. You have one great consolation, however. Your son was spared all pain and suffering, for death was absolutely instantaneous ; also that he was buried. The inability to bury one’s dead owing to their having been killed on the ground between the opposing trenches has, I think, been one of the most horrible features of the war. It is, I think, unnecessary for me to assure you that your son maintained to the end the high traditions of a British officer and gentleman. We were together during the night attack on 31 Dec., and his coolness under a heavy fire was very marked. Although he did not belong to the Loyal North Lancashires but to his own county regt., yet he always took an interest in his men and was a zealous officer. On the very morning that he was killed, I had picked him out to take command of a company because I had the greatest confidence in him. He was always cheerful, and had endeared himself to us all. feel the loss greatly.”
Source : De Ruvigny’s Roll Of Honour Vol 1