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Burdon, J.E., E.R.A., 1918
Photo: James Pasby .

Smith Dock October 1922

Photo : James Pasby

In South Shields (Harton) Cemetery is the Commonwealth War Grave of M/11023 Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class, John Evans Burdon serving with the Royal Navy who died on the 18/11/1918.

John Evans Burdon was born on the 3rd May 1889 at 20 Robertson Street, South Shields, baptised on the 26th May 1889, St Stephens Church, South Shields, to John Evans Burdon (born April 1858, died June 1924), a local boilermaker and his wife Margaret [nee Thompson], [born 1858, died 1924], they were married on the 5th February 1881 at St Stephens Church, South Shields.

They had seven children, but two died, Matthew, born 1884, died 1944, Thomas Thompson, born 22nd August 1887, baptised 11th September 1887, St Stephens Church, died 1st July 1916, with the 22nd [3rd Tyneside Scottish), Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, Margaret Thompson Burdon, [born 4th August 1891, died 1973], and a Henry Cook Burdon born 18th February 1912, [in 1939 he was residing at 39 Lake Avenue, Slough], died in 2001. In 1891 they resided at 173 Mile End Road, South Shields. By 1901 they had moved to 20 Robertson Street, South Shields.

John was educated at the Westoe Secondary School. His occupation was recorded as a boilermaker’s apprentice in 1911 at Smiths Docks.

In 1911, he was residing at 20 Robertson Street, South Shields. John was married on the 12th August 1911 at St Judes', South Shields, to Emma Horn Burdon, [nee Richardson], (born 25th September 1893, died 1985), and they had three children, John Evans Burdon, (born 2nd July 1913), Emma H. Burdon, (born 30th July 1915) and Catherine Burdon, (born 31st July 1919).

In 1939 they were residing at 173 Imeary Street, South Shields, Emma H. Wright, (Burdon), a Milliner, Emma H.Burdon, Widowed, John Evans Burdon, born 2nd July 1913, Male and Catherine Smith (Burdon), born 31st July 1919, and one other.

John joined the Royal Navy on the 16th December 1914 as a 4th Class Engine Room Artificer, for the duration of the war, and was allocated the service number M/11023. John had Brown Eyes, Brown Hair with a fresh complexion. 5 feet 4 and a quarter inches tall. On his right forearm he had a tattoo 'JB' and 'MJ' on his left forearm. He was trained at HMS Victory II until the 25th January, then further training at HMS Inconstant from the 26th January 1915, ERA from the 16th December 1914. He became an engine-room artificer 3rd class on the 1st April 1916 and then 2nd class on the 10th August 1917. From the 30th August 1917 he is serving aboard the HMS Victory before finally transferring to the destroyer HMS Tartar on the 25th September 1917.

H.M S Tartar was a tribal class destroyer of the Royal Navy, built in 1907, was launched on the 25th June 1907 and sold in 1921. During the First World War she served in the North Sea and the English Channel with the 6th Destroyer Flotilla - Torpedo Boat Destroyer - Armament: 5 x 12 pdr - Displacement: 870 tons - August 1914 Sixth Destroyer Flotilla Tender to Attentive. War Service - included Dover Patrol.

John died of pneumonia at Armstrong College on the 18th November 1918 and was buried in Harton Cemetery, South Shields.

John Evans Burdon was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal for his service in World War One.

John was employed at Smith's Dock as a Boilersmith in the Pontoons Department.

He was with HMS Tartar but died of Spanish flu. Age 29.

Research: Peter Hoy/Cynthia Kent/James Pasby

Acknowledgement : Ian Burdon

John Evans Burdon is remembered at Harton on H104.01 and H104.03 in North Shields on N34.04, in N34.30, page 13, N34.61, in South Shields on S86.004, page 13 and S86.053 and on our List of Ships’ crews.

South Shields Grammar School
The CWGC entry for Engine Room Artificer Burdon

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk