PRIVATE RCHARD BURR
LONDON REGIMENT ROYAL FUSILIERS
8TH AUGUST 1918 AGE 19
BURIED: BEACON CEMETERY,, SAILLY LAURETTE, FRANCE
This is not a wistful regret for a time that has gone – although it could well be – but the title of a sonnet by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) 'If Only':
If I might only love my God and die!
But now he bids me love Him and live on,
Now when the bloom of all my life is gone,
The pleasant half of life has quite gone by.
My tree of hope is lopped that spread so high,
And I forget how summer glowed and shone,
Mrs Emily Burr chose the inscription for her son, Richard, the third of her six children. John, his older brother, had been killed three years earlier at Loos on 27 September 1915 whilst serving in the 1st Battalion Scots Guards. He has no grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.
Born in October 1898, Richard Burr was called up in October 1916 and deployed to France in October 1917. He served with the 4th Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) and was killed in the trenches on 8 August 1918.
Battalion War Diary 4th-8th August
Bn in front line trenches. The period passed unusually quietly, there being very little artillery activity by the enemy. Our patrols were very active during the hours of darkness. Defences were strengthened and trenches improved.