William Arthur BURT


BURT, William Arthur

Service Number: 2637
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 50th Infantry Battalion
Born: Dergholm, Victoria, Australia , date not yet discovered
Home Town: Solomontown, Port Pirie, South Australia
Schooling: Public School, Port Pirie, South Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in action, France, 25 April 1918, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: Adelaide Cemetery Villers-Bretonneux
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide The 50th Battalion Commemorative Cross, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

23 Oct 1916: Involvement Private, SN 2637, 50th Infantry Battalion
23 Oct 1916: Embarked Private, SN 2637, 50th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Port Melbourne, Adelaide
25 Apr 1918: Involvement Lance Corporal, SN 2637, 50th Infantry Battalion

The Burt Brothers

William Arthur Burt and his younger brother Cecil Elijah Roy Burt were born to Elijah and Martha Amelia Burt (nee Mann) of 29 Three Chain Road, Solomontown, Port Pirie. They had eight siblings. They joined up together to fight in the Great War on the 7th April 1916.

Both were very popular in football circles; Cecil played football for the Solomontown Football Club and he was also an accomplished boxer.
When they joined, William was a 28 year old labourer employed at the Broken Hill Associated Smelter and Cecil was one month shy of 22, also a labourer.

Lance Corporal William Arthur Burt of the 50th Battalion, was killed in action in the counter-attack that captured Villers-Bretonneux, France on the 25th April 1918; just one day after the Germans had taken the village.

Lance Corporal Cecil Burt a Lewis Gunner of the 51st Battalion, was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry and distinguished service in the field. Ironically this brave action also occurred at Villers-Bretonneux at the same time brother William was killed.

NO. 22A Corporal C. E. R. BURT, 51st Battalion.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When his platoon came under very heavy machine-gun and rifle fire from an enemy strong point during an attack on the enemy's positions, Corporal Burt and a comrade advanced with a Lewis gun in front of their platoon, and directed such an accurate demoralizing fire on the enemy that forty of them, with four machine guns, surrendered to these two men, to whose courage and unhesitating action this valuable success was due.

Cecil was given a commission at the signing of the Armistice. Lieutenant Cecil Burt returned to Australia on the 16th June 1919. He married Helen Mackay in Port Pirie in 1920 and died in Cowra, New South Wales on the 21st February 1968 aged 73.

Lance Corporal William Burt was buried on the Somme, Villers-Bretonneux, France in Adelaide Cemetery. He is commemorated on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, the 50th Battalion Commemorative Cross, the Adelaide National War Memorial and the World War 1 Gates in Port Pirie.

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