Their bodies are buried in peace; but their names liveth for evermore.
Their Duty Done
A tribute to the men and women of the East Gippsland Region who Died as a result of their participation in World War One : 1914 - 1919
Albert, known as Bert, was the sixth of seven children born on 7 May 1897 to Isaac and Annie Burden of the Omeo and Ensay area. The children being born in Omeo and growing up on the family farm “Emu Vale” at Ensay. He went to school with his siblings at Little River and Ensay. Albert, who described himself as a grazier, was just 18 years and 2 months when he got permission from his parents to enlist on 31 July 1915. He was with the 22 nd  Battalion and embarked from Melbourne with fellow Ensay recruit William Burns on the Commonwealth in November 1915. Once arriving in Egypt he transferred to the 57 th  Battalion and was then admitted to hospital at Tel-el-Kebir with yellow jaundice. After several weeks in hospital he was discharged to duty and as his unit had moved on, he was transferred to the 59 th  Battalion, but he was re-admitted to hospital in April 1916. The next month he was fit enough to rejoin the 59 th  and they arrived in Marseilles on 29 June. Just twenty days later he was reported missing. Despite the family writing plaintive letters to the authorities, the suspense of waiting for definite word as regards my poor boys fate is very hard, and receiving letters from his mates and commanding officers, it was not until more than twelve months later, after the court of inquiry was held, that the family were told officially that he had been killed. He was the first of the Ensay recruits to be killed with so many others on 19 July 1917 and presumed buried in no man’s land. His mate, Alex Rennie later said that Albert fell in the charge on a strongly held German line and his commanding officer, Lieut. Fenton regarded him as a most reliable and steady soldier. His body was recovered and he was re-interred in Aubers Ridge Cemetery. The anguish of not knowing can only be measured by a letter in the Red Cross files from his sister in October 1918 where she vaguely recognises him in a prisoner of war photograph. So sketchy were the details of death that the family still clung to the hope of his being alive. Albert Burden is remember locally on the Reedy Flat memorial.
….. the first from Ensay to die
3038 Private Albert Arthur Herbert Burden – Ensay / Omeo Killed in Action 19 July 1916