Leonard "Len" Henry Burgess, 93, died peacefully in Sechelt Hospital, Sechelt, BC on September 22, 2017. Len was born on March 6, 1924 in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, England to George and Emma Burgess. A veteran of World War II, he served in both the British Merchant Navy and the British Army.
During a voyage on the 23rd of October, 1942 from Liverpool, England to Capetown, South Africa, aboard the Merchant Ship, Empire Star, his ship with a crew of 103 was torpedoed and sunk by German Uboat 615. Len was considered to be lost at sea and presumed dead by the Ministry of War. His young bride of two months, Minnie, received a cable informing her that she was now a widow. Despite his injuries Len was one of the lucky 61 survivors spending three days in the South Atlantic in storm force winds aboard a lifeboat with 33 others. They were picked up by HMS Black Swan late in the day of the 26th of October. All survivors were returned to Liverpool on October 30th. At the end of WWII Len enlisted in the British Army and was stationed at Doune, Scotland for a two year tour of duty.
In 1956 he shipped out once more from Liverpool accompanied by his young family, Minnie, Len and Glenys sailing for Canada. He lived in Brooklin, Ontario before moving to BC in 1966. Len was an avid sport fisherman and in 1986, after his retirement, moved with Minnie to Gibsons were they both enjoyed their twilight years sailing and fishing along the Sunshine Coast.
He is survived by his son Len (Sharon) of Langdale, BC and his granddaughters, Lainie and Laura of Vancouver, BC. He is preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Minnie (2010) and his daughter, Glenys (1988).
Dad you were a very special person and brought happiness to many lives. You were the best husband, father and role model that anyone could wish for. Dad you were a true gentleman, you are in our thoughts every day.
Special thanks to Dr. Spithoff, Vancouver Coastal Health Home Workers, Palliative Care Workers and the staff of Sechelt Hospital.
At his request, no funeral service will be held.
Len's ashes will be scattered at Mariners Rest in Howe Sound.
A service summary is not available