Stephen Burgess memorial
The Welch Regiment
2nd Lieutenant 1st Battalion Welch Regiment (41st foot)
Service No 417671
Killed in Action 11 January 1952 Samichon Valley, Korea aged 20
Stephen joined the army as a national serviceman and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant Burgess. He joined the 1st Battalion Welch Regiment and was posted to Korea as a platoon commander in 'C' Company. They arrived in Korea on 10 November 1951 and moved up to the junction of the Imjin and Samichon Rivers. Conditions were similar to those of WW1 trench warfare coupled with the extreme cold of a Korean winter.
The regimental history has the following record. On 24th November 1951 the battalion moved up the eastern side of 'Sammy-chon' valley and replaced the 1st Republic of Korea Regiment on a section of the line referred to as the Hook and Hills 157 and 169. On 11th January 1952 a patrol commanded by 2Lt S C J Burgess set off to clear Samichon Village, but found no sign of an enemy position there. During the late afternoon his patrol, whilst inspecting enemy diggings on the spur of North-East of Hill 169, came under heavy enemy fire from positions on Hill 157 and from an occupied trench nearby. 2Lt Burgess was killed and two members of the patrol were wounded. The patrol killed three Chinese who had fired upon them from the trench, and withdrew carrying the wounded. 2Lt Burgess’s body had to be left on site until recovered by a patrol led by Lt N L Evans the following day.
Stephen is commemorated in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery Pusan. Plot 23, Row 10 Position 2, grave serial No1667. Stephen would have been eligible for the Korean War medal and the UN Korea Medal.
Stephen came to Gordonstoun with his twin brother Thomas in September 1947. They were both keen cricket players and Stephen appeared in a production of Macbeth. They both left as Colour Bearers in 1950. At some time after leaving school they changed their name from Berger to Burgess, probably to join the army. When they left the Gordonstoun Record reported: 'Tom and Stephen Burgess (Julius-Berger) have both volunteered for service in Korea, inseparable as ever.' There is an obituary to Stephen in the August 1951 copy of the Gordonstoun Record.