Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Private Thomas Hayes Burgess - Pukekohe Memorial - Auckland Region


New Zealand Herald, Volume LII, Issue 16018, 9 September 1915, Page 8

Private Thomas Burgess embarked with the Auckland Infantry Battalion as part of the Main Body on  16 October 1914.    During the fighting at Gallipoli he was badly wounded and was subsequently taken prisoner by the Turks.  He was the first and only New Zealander taken prisoner on 25 April 1915.  

Private W. J. Surgenor who was captured on the 8 August 1915 reported the following shocking account concerning Private Burgess:

'He lay there for three days.  Every Turk who walked past him clubbed or bayoneted him.  Then some stretcher bearers picked him up and he was taken to a camp'

Private Burgess eventually died of his wounds in captivity on the 25 September 1915 at Gulhane Hosptial, Constantinople (Istanbul today).
(The above information was taken from 'Gallipoli, The New Zealand Story' by Christopher Pugsley.)

He is buried at the Haidar Pasha Cemetery, Turkey.

Thomas Burgess had a brother Ernest Joseph Burgess who also embarked with the Main Body. He was wounded at Gallipoli on 10 May 1915 and then again in France on 4 June 1916.  Remarkably he survived the war.


  1. Hi, are you descended through the Burgess family?

    1. I am a descendent of Thomas Hayes Burgess, he was
      my great-uncle. If anyone is looking for info on him, I
      may to be able to help out.