Former acting governor and colonial secretary Claude Burgess has died aged 88. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford, Burgess was appointed a cadet in the Colonial Service in 1932 and was sent to Guangzhou to study Chinese. From 1935 to 1940, Burgess was successively a magistrate, assistant financial secretary, commissioner of estate duty, assistant colonial secretary and clerk of the council. One accused who appeared before Burgess the magistrate had stored heroin behind the kitchen stove in Burgess' house and used his trophy heroin pipe. Burgess was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1940 and was held as a prisoner-of-war by the Japanese from Christmas Day 1941 to 1945 in camps at Argyle Street and Shamshuipo. He had married - his first wife - during an air raid on December 8, 1941, the day war broke out. After the war, Burgess was demobilised, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and stayed in Hong Kong to help with re-establishing the government. Known as an orator, Burgess was defence secretary, deputy and acting colonial secretary from 1952 to 1958. He became colonial secretary and deputy governor from 1958 to 1963, acting as governor for 18 months. During that time, Burgess frequently referred to Hong Kong's growing population as the city's most valuable resource. He left to work for the European Free Trade Association in Geneva in 1964. He married Linda Beilby, of New York, in 1969. In 1974, Burgess was appointed as the minister for Hong Kong relations with the European Community in Brussels, a post he held until 1982. Burgess died on November 2. He is survived by his wife and one son from a previous marriage.