Burke, Peter

Peter (Jumbo) Burke was born on 11th January 1902 at 3, Wilmott Terrace, Wilmott Street, Everton, Liverpool, and was the fourth child of eight to Peter Burke and Caroline Mary (Edwards).

Peter senior and wife Caroline were both born in Flint and at the turn of the century they had moved to Liverpool where Mr Burke was employed as a Sugar Warehouse Porter. By 1904 they had returned to Flint, residing at 8, Rose Cottages, Chapel Street, and Peter was now working as a bricksetter’s labourer.

Peter junior, a single man, was employed at Courtaulds Castle Works, Flint, and when the call was made for the Defence Corps, he joined and was stationed at Kinmel Park. On Thursday 23rd June 1921, along with 170 comrades, he was taking part in a bathing parade at Pensarn, about the time the Royal train conveying their Majesties from Ireland was passing, and he was drowned. On Saturday the body was brought home to his parent’s house.

On Sunday night the body was removed to St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, where it lay until interment. A requiem Mass was celebrated by Father McGrath.

On Monday afternoon, at the Northop Road Cemetery, the funeral took place with military honours and by permission of the Lieut-Col Freer Ash, commanding officer of the regiment, a firing party of fourteen men in charge of Sergeant Hough, of Flint, and a number of comrades of the deceased, and the buglers of the regiment, in charge of Drum-Major Homer, attended the funeral. The cortege was preceded by the Flint Town Band, of which both deceased and his father were members. There were also present a large number of members of the Catholic Young Men’s Society, of which deceased was a member. The funeral service was conducted by Father McGrath, in the presence of a very large gathering. The firing party then fired three volleys over the open grave, and the buglers sounded the “Last Post.” A large number of beautiful wreaths were sent, including one from Lieut-Col Freer Ash and officers of the regiment, and a bunch of flowers from his comrades.

Peter is remembered on two war memorials – Flint Town and St Mary’s Catholic Church, Flint.

Private Burke's grave

Private Burke’s grave

Peter senior died, aged 81, in November 1956, at his home, 3, Rose Terrace, Chapel Street. He ended his working career at Messrs Courtaulds Castle Works at the age of 75. He was associated with Flint Carnival in which he helped to raise considerable sums of money with his “mule,” which he made himself and was a feature of the annual procession. He was also a member of the old Flint Town Silver Prize Band in which he played the euphonium. Mr Burke was a member of St Mary’s Catholic Church and was one of the founders of the Catholic Parochial Hall.

Mrs Burke was also born in Flint and died just ten days after her husband. As a young woman she worked in the British Glanzstoff Company at Aber Works. She was a member of the Catholic Church. Mr and Mrs Burke had been married over 60 years. They were buried with son Peter.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Flint Memorial

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