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Maxwell Burnet was born in Blundell Sands near Liverpool in 1893, it appears that he was the only child of George Maxwell Burnet and Mary Alice Richardson. George and Mary Alice had married in St. James Church, Preston on 25th July, 1891.

Maxwell`s father George was a chemist and unfortunately he passed away on 24 August, 1895 when Maxwell was just two years old. The family at the time were living in Blundell Sands.

By the time of the 1901 Census eight year old Maxwell was living with his maternal grandparents David and Catherine Richardson at 19 Avenham Road, Preston. His grandfather David was an upholsterer by trade.
In the 1911 Census Maxwell had moved again after his grandparents had passed away. He was now living at 25 Avenham Road, Preston with his Uncle David Richardson. Maxwell had a job as an Ironmonger`s apprentice.

On the 7 September, 1914 Max went into the recruiting office in Preston and enlisted. He was posted to ‘D Company’ (Preston Pals) of the 7th (Service) Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and given the service number 13114. The Medical Officer recorded his age as 22 years and 3 months. He was 5`9” tall and weighed 119lbs, had a fresh complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair.

Max named his next of kin as James Burnet, c/o Midland Bank, Blackpool. James Burnet was actually his Uncle who in 1911 was living with his wife at 45 Reads Avenue a large 14 roomed house in Blackpool. His occupation was a Bank Manager.

On the morning of the 16 July, 1915 3 Officers and 110 non-commissioned Officers and men of the 7th Battalion left Southampton for Le Havre with the transport. The following day the remainder of the Battalion embarked at Folkestone bound for Boulogne. The total strength of the Battalion was now 30 Officers and 900 other ranks.

On the 31 August, 1915 the Battalion were marched to billets at Les Lobes, just to the north of Locon, the Brigade forming part of the Army reserve and they remained there until the 13 September. They then went to the neighbourhood of Locon and took over the reserve billets at Rue de Chavattes from the 10th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment. It was from here that a large party was sent forward to occupy various defence posts and on the 16th it is reported that two men were killed and two were wounded. Unfortunately Maxwell Burnet was one of the 2 men killed.


The following information was then reported to the Preston Guardian under the heading:-

“Pal” Reported Killed in Action

News has been received in Preston of the death in action in France of Private Maxwell Burnet, of the Grenade Section, 7th Battalion L.N.L. Regiment (Preston Pals). A letter written by another member of the Battalion states that Private Burnet was buried beside two comrades and a captain. Writing under the date September 19th, Private John Dodgson, son of Mr. A. Dodgson, shoemaker, Avenham Road, Preston says:-

“It is with deep regret that I have to tell you that Max was killed by a German bomb on the 16th. He was a great sport right up to the last. He was joking and laughing and did not care a hang for anything. I was very lucky.

I had left the dug-out about a minute before it was blown in. There were six of us together so I thought I had better go a little further down where there were not so many, and I had only just left when it happened.”

Prior to enlisting about a year ago, Private Burnet was employed as a clerk by Messrs. Slingers & Sons, Ironmongers, Friargate, Preston.

Private Maxwell Burnet was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals and is buried with honour in Le Touret Military Cemetery.

Photograph: August 2015

Photograph: August 2015

Rank: Private
Service No: 13114
Date of Death: 16/09/1915
Age: 23
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 7th Bn.

Additional information
The second soldier mentioned as having died on that day was 12449 Lance Corporal Joseph Park, 7th Battalion.
The letter writer was 13061 Private John Dodgson 7th Battalion who after a lucky escape on that day was himself killed in action on 23 July, 1916 when the 7th Battalion were involved in actions on the Somme.

Janet Davis
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2 Responses to 13114 PTE. M. BURNET. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Nina Gerrard says:

    Dear Janet,
    I am so pleased you have this information about Maxwell. I received a postcard informing my household that Maxwell Richardson Burnet was registered on the Preston Harris WW1 Roll of Honour as living at our house (40 Avenham Road) at the time of his death in 1915.
    I was hoping the exhibit relating to this would have information about him and was a little disappointed when it didn’t, which is why I started looking myself.
    I’m sure you can understand my utter delight, not only to find more information about him, but to see his photograph! What an absolute treat!
    Thank you for uploading his story and I’ll keep an eye out for any more info about him.
    Thanks again, Janet!
    Nina Gerrard

    • Janet Davis says:

      Hi Nina, I`m pleased you managed to find the article on Maxwell and thank you for your kind comments, they are very much appreciated.

      I have seen the postcards on display at the Harris but as you say it is disappointing not to see more information on the men.

      If you do come across any more information on Max please do let us know, it can always be added to his page in the future.

      Kind regards

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