Burroughes, Randall

He was the son of Francis George Burroughes (C, 1882-1885) and his wife, Anne Kathleen Julia, and elder brother of Second Lieutenant Stephen Burroughes (C, 1912-1915), Rifle Brigade, who fell on November 4th 1918 (see individual entry). He came to Winchester from Mr. J.C. Thomson’s school at Biggleswade and was appointed a House Prefect in his last year.

In August 1914 he joined the 5th Battalion Norfolk Regiment and went with them to the Dardanelles the following year, taking part in the landing at Suvla Bay. During the subsequent charge up the hillside the party to which he was attached advanced too far ahead of the main body and were cut off: he is presumed to have been killed that day, August 12th 1915.

The 5th Norfolks were a pre-War Territorial Force battalion and recruited from all over the west, east and north Norfolk areas. Later they became known as the “Vanished Battalion” because they were seen marching into battle at Suvla, the day Burroughes is presumed to have been killed, but none of them were ever seen alive again. It wasn’t until 1919 that their bodies were found and even then it was difficult to determine what had happened.

However, the view of the officer commanding the Graves Registration Unit wrote on 23rd September 1919 that “We have found the 5th Norfolks – there were 180 [bodies] in all; 122 Norfolks and a few Hants and Suffolks with 2/4th Cheshires. We could only identify two: Privates Barnaby and Cotter. They were scattered over an area of about one square mile, at a distance of at least eight hundred yards behind the Turkish front line. Many of them had evidently been killed in a farm, as a local Turk, who owns the place, told us that when he came back he found the farm covered with the decomposing bodies of British soldiers, which he threw into a small ravine. The whole thing quite bears out the original theory that they did not go very far on, but got mopped up one by one, all except the ones who got into the farm.”

The verdict of military historians is that the 5th Norfolk Battalion had pressed on into unknown terrain where they were vulnerable to Turkish sniper fire.

Further information on the website of the 5th Norfolk Regiment can be accessed here: http://user.online.be/~snelders/sand.htm and on https://stevesmith1944.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/the-15th-battalion-norfolk-regiment-at-gallipoli/

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Burroughes
  • Forenames or initials: Randall
  • House: C
  • Years in School: 1910-1913
  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Norfolk Regiment
  • Date of Birth: 14th June 1896
  • Date of Death: 12th August 1915
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer F4
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Unknown but commemorated on the HELLES MEMORIAL: Panel 42-44