Burton, born Richard Walter Jenkins, Richard, born on 10-11-1925 in Pontrhydufen, Wales, was the twelfths of thirteen children and born as Richard Walter Jenkins. Burton left school at sixteen for full-time work. He worked for the local wartime Co-operative committee, handing out supplies in exchange for coupons, but then considered other professions for his future, including boxing, religion and singing. When Burton joined the Port Talbot Squadron of the Air Training Corps, as a cadet, he re-encountered Philip Burton, his former teacher, who was the commander. Burton was allowed into Exeter College, Oxford for a special term of six months study, made possible because he was an air force cadet obligated to later military service. He subsequently did serve in the RAF (1944–1947) as a navigator. Burton’s eyesight was too poor for him to be considered pilot material. He became a famous actor after the war and played in several war movies like, Where Eagles Dare.
Death and burial ground of Burton, born Richard Walter Jenkins, Richard.
The biography of Burton provides a detailed description of the many health issues that plagued Burton throughout his life. In his youth Burton was a star athlete and well known for his athletic abilities and strength. By the age of 41 he had declined so far in health that his arms were by his own admission thin and weak. He suffered from bursitis, possibly aggravated by faulty treatment, arthritis, dermatitis, cirrhosis of the liver and kidneys, as well as displaying, by his mid-forties, signs of advanced senescence such as a pronounced limp. How much of this was due to his intake of alcohol is impossible to ascertain, according to Bragg, because of Burton’s reluctance to be treated for alcohol addiction; however, in 1974, Burton spent six weeks in a clinic to recuperate from a period during which he had been drinking three bottles of vodka a day. He was also a regular smoker with intake of between three and five packs a day for most of his adult life. Burton died from a brain haemorrhage at the age of 58, on 05-08-1984, at his home in Céligny, Swiss.
Although his death was sudden, his health had been declining for several years and he suffered from a constant and severe pain in the neck. He had been warned that his liver was enlarged as early as March 1970 and had been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and kidneys in April 1981. Burton was buried in a red suit, a tribute to his Welsh roots on the cemetery of Celgny, Vaud in Swiss.