Lewis Henry BURROWES
Rank: Gunner
Number: 167398
Unit: 56th Battery, 34th Brigade ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 12 August 1917
Age: 40
Cemetery: New Irish Farm Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium

Lewis was born in Hathern, near Loughborough in Leicestershire in 1877, the son of Catherine and Henry. The 1901 Census finds the family living at Derby Road in the village where Henry was a timber merchant. Lewis was aged 24 and had a younger sister and brother, Augusta and Douglas. He was working as a clerk for one of the railway companies and it was probably this work that had brought him to the Stockport area by the following year. In the late summer of 1902, he married Beatrice Lythgoe in the south Manchester area. They may have lived together at 26 Ventnor Road, Heaton Moor, where Beatrice was known to be living after the War.

Lewis enlisted into the army in Manchester, perhaps suggesting that he was working at one of the city centre railway stations, and was assigned to the artillery. Older men often found themselves as gunners as it was thought that they may not be fit enough for the rigours of trench life amongst the infantry.

34th Brigade was originally attached to the Army’s 2nd Division but, in January 1917, it was transfered from the Division and came under the direct orders of 1st Army. It would then have been used as a mobile force sent to lend extra artillery firepower wherever it was most needed. Almost no records now remain of these “Army Brigades” and it is therefore impossible to know the circumstances under which Lewis was killed.

However, it is possible to speculate to some extent as the Third Battle of Ypres had started on 31 July 1917. The cemetery where Lewis is buried is just to the north east of town and it is almost certain that his Brigade’s gun positions where close by. He was probably killed by German artillery fire which had targeted the Brigade positions.

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