Died 21st September 1918
No. 18240 of the Bedfordshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion.
Born: Woburn, 1883, (but entered as William Ashley Burnage)
Resided: Woburn Sands
Enlisted: Between 10th – 16th December, 1914, at Bedford

William first went abroad on 22nd June 1915, probably in the draft of replacements for the Battalions losses at Givenchy on16th June, 1915. He would have fought in the Battle of Loos that September and could have been present during any or all of the Battalions engagements in 1916 & 1917 if he was not wounded at some stage. These were the Somme, Ancre, Arras, and Third Ypres.

Between 18th & 30th September 1918, the 2nd Battalion was engaged in a 12 day battle around Ronssoy Wood, between Peronne and Cambrai, losing 350 men as they fought alongside the Americans for the first time. William was killed in action as they assaulted a defensive line east of Ronssoy village.

North Bucks Times, 19th November, 1918: “Killed in Action. Whilst the village was still celebrating the Armistice on Monday week, Mrs Burnidge of High Street heard that her husband, Private William Burnidge was killed in action on September 21st. He trained at Ampthill Park, and went to the Front on June 21st 1915. He was wounded twice and went back again six months ago. He was reported missing on Sept. 21st. He was well known at Woburn, where he had been employed at the Estate timber yard by Mr Beesley.”

He is listed at the Unicorn Cemetery, France. It is possible that his body was recovered and buried here during the battlefields clearances of the 1920’s.

Listed on the Woburn Sands Memorial. His army service papers have not survived.

William’s Medal card

Some details kindly provided by Steve Fuller, “The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War”, at



Page last updated Jan. 2019.