From OpenwaterpediaInternational Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1983 as an Honour Swimmer. Burgess became the second man to swim the English Channel in 22 hours 35 minutes on 6 September 1911 on his 16th attempt. In 1926, he also trained Gertrude Ederle who became the first woman to swim the English Channel.
His family moved to Westminster, London around 1882. During this time, Burgess joined a swimming club and swam to Battersea along the Thames. Around 1889 The Earl offered him the opportunity to set up a French branch of the motor tyre business in Paris, France where he got married. In the 1920's, he bought a summer home at Cap Gris Nez as a summer base to train English Channel swimmers from 1922 to 1934. In 1941 it was reported by the newspapers that Burgess was taken prisoner by the Nazis and held in a prison camp Stalag 142 in Bascanon, France. He was released later the same year.