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Captain in the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army (the great war)

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David Henry Burles was an Architect, Surveyor and Artist who was killed during the Second World War whilst working in his office

Place and date of birth


Lived in Southend-on-Sea

Connection to Southend 



David Henry Burles was an Architect and Surveyor who was killed during the Second World War whilst working in his office that was situated just off Southend High Street and near the Constitution Club. David Burles was born in 1866 in Southend-on-Sea and lived in the borough for his whole life. He was married to Sarah Jane Burles (Nee Walker) in April 1894. During the Great War, David Burles was a Captain in the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army.

By the time of the Second World War David Burles retired and was a Major in the Essex Yeomanry and talented water colour artist. He painted a series of watercolours of churches in the Rochford Hundred which were published weekly in the Southend Standard. As far as his grandson is aware, the originals are in the Beecroft Gallery although we understand that they are no longer on exhibition. David Burles’ Father was at some time the publican of the Hole in the Wall pub that could be found at the bottom of Pier Hill. They lived in York Road where he designed the first cinema in Southend-on-sea, the Strand but this has since been demolished.

His Grandson, Gordon Burles remembers the building well as it had a barrel vaulted ceiling and there was a refreshment counter along on side where you get cakes, drinks and ice cream. David Burles had 6 sons and 1 daughter. One son, George went into the Catholic Church where he became a monk living in the Prinknage Monastery in Gloucestershire. Charles, another son was a captain in the merchant navy and on retirement became mine host in the Kings Head at Tollesbury before opening newsagents in York Road.

His other son, Roderick and Gordon’s Father, opened a bike shop next door. Roderick played cricket for Westcliff and also spent his time on the various local golf course. Rodney Burles lived to be 99.9 years old and died a week before his 100th birthday party

Given to us by Gordon Burles

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