Guy Francis de Moncy Burgess

Guy Francis de Moncy Burgess

Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England
Death 30 Aug 1963 (aged 52)
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Burial West Meon, City of Winchester, Hampshire, England
Plot Family plot
Memorial ID 6737 · View Source
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Cold War Soviet Spy. Despite being a flamboyant drunk and open, notorious homosexual, he proved to be one of the Soviet Union's best spies at the beginning of the Cold War. Born in Davenport, England, his father was an high-ranking officer in the Royal Navy, and his mother an aristocrat. His wealthy, upper middle class background gave him admittance to Eton and later, to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. When his homosexuality got him dismissed from Dartmouth, he moved on to Cambridge, to Trinity College. There he fell in with left-wing fellow students, and was recruited to spy for the Soviet Union's KGB by classmate and homosexual, Anthony Blunt. Off and on homosexual lovers Donald Maclean and Kim Philby were also recruited as spies. At first, these pampered college men played at being spies, treating it as a high-spirited game by liberal intellectual young men, but it would become serious later. After graduation in 1934, Burgess played to the political right wing, joining the neo-fascist Anglo-German Fellowship and applied for the Conservative Political Party, in an attempt to spy on their activities. Although the Conservatives rejected him, he obtained a job with conservative Member of Parliament Jack MacNamara. He and Philby would get jobs in 1936 with BBC Radio, and when World War II broke out in 1939, Burgess joined the British Intelligence Service, and within a year, got Philby a job there. In 1946, the British Foreign Office hired him for their Embassy in Washington, DC, where he moved in with Philby, who by then was First Secretary at the British Embassy. The pair worked diligently to send all forms of British and American secrets to the Soviets. In 1951, Philby learned from Anthony Blunt that Donald Maclean was about to be arrested as a spy, so he sent Burgess back to London to warn Maclean to escape to Russia and to accompany him there. Both men soon escaped to Moscow, where they were warmly greeted. Shortly afterwards, Russian agents smuggled Mrs. Maclean and her 3 children out of England to the Soviet Union. Although Philby came under suspicion due to his well-known association with Burgess, he was officially cleared, but his career as a spy was over. Although Burgess had escaped British justice, he was depressed with the puritanical Soviet Union, missed his London haunts, continued to order his clothing from his Savile Row tailor, and eventually drank himself to death on August 30, 1963. His former lover and fellow spy, Kim Philby, would defect to the Soviet Union that same year. After his death, Burgess' body was returned to England for burial in the family plot.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 19 Oct 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6737
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Guy Francis de Moncy Burgess (11 Apr 1911–30 Aug 1963), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6737, citing St John the Evangelist Churchyard, West Meon, City of Winchester, Hampshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .