Air Ace Captain Phillip Scott Burge  MC & MM

Phillip Burge was born at Potters Bar in 1895 as the third of four sons to William and Grace Burge.

William Burge was a Stockbroker in London and so Phillip grew up in comfortable circumstances being educated at Marlborough College.

By the start of World War 1 the Burges had moved to Austral House at Althorne.

Like many young men of his age Phillip decided to enlist and reported to the recruiting Office at Colchester where he enlisted as a private in the 10th Royal Fusiliers.

Phillips enlistment papers were completed on 14 October 1914 and show him as 19 years 6 months with brown eyes, brown hair and a fresh complexion.

After training the 10th Royal Fusiliers were on reserve in England and embarked to join the BEF in the trenches on 30 July 1915 where they remained until returned to reserve in England on 7 August 1916.

Phillip was an excellent soldier being promoted to Lance Corporal on 5 October 1916 and being awarded the Military Medal on 1 September 1916.

While in France Phillip would have seen the new weapon - Planes of the RFC and he applied for and was granted a temporary commission to the RFC on 23 July 1917.

Philip was posted to 64 Squadron, which had just been changed from a training squadron to a fighter squadron,  and in October 1917 he returned to France, this time in the air.

An original War Office Photograph of an SE5 Squadron in France. The censor had obliterated squadron markings.

Soon after their arrival in France 64 Squadron were equipped with the new SE5 aircraft which were to prove very effective.

Phillip showed his capability as a fighter pilot and was promoted to Flight Commander in June 1917.

Once the new SE5's arrived Phillip embarked on a remarkable period when between 22 March 1918 and 22 July 1918 he was responsible for 11 kills of enemy aircraft.

This made him one of the top British Air Aces in 1918 and he became a celebrated figure amongst his colleagues.

Sadly on 24 July 1918 over Seclin, France he was shot down by a German Aircraft and his plane caught fire before crashing.

Phillip was buried in the Military Cemetery at Dud Corner, Loos.

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