Harry James BURTON


BURTON, Harry James

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 23 September 1914, Fort Largs, South Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 16th Infantry Battalion
Born: North Adelaide, South Australia, 23 March 1895
Home Town: Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Adelaide High School, Stott & Hoare's Business Training College
Occupation: Clerk - Land Titles Office, Draughtsman
Died: Killed in action, Bloody Angle, Gallipoli, 2 May 1915, aged 20 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Adelaide High School Honour Board, Adelaide Holy Trinity Church WW1 Honour Board 1, Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing
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World War 1 Service

23 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 16th Infantry Battalion, Fort Largs, South Australia
22 Dec 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 16th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
22 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 16th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ceramic, Melbourne
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 16th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
Date unknown: Involvement 16th Infantry Battalion, Pozières

A son lost

Harry James Burton, was my Great Uncle.The eldest son of Henry James and Sarah Jane Burton, Harry lived with his parents and 10 siblings at the Adelaide Gaol; where his father was a warder. It was a strict but loving upbringing. Sarah Jane worked all the hours of the day: cleaning, cooking and providing for her large family. She was never seen without some form of handiwork in her hands: and examples of her fine crochet work are still in my possession. Henry, had served in the Royal Navy as a young man before coming to Australia; where he met and married Sarah. Harry was the (reportedly) the youngest Lieutenant who served from South Australia. His mother, Sarah , was (according to family lore) playing the piano, when she received news of his death. It is said that she never played the piano again. Apparently, Henry travelled to Outer Harbour to meet every ship bringing home returned soldiers- he never entirely accepted that Harry had been killed. My grandmother, Marjorie Huxtable (nee Burton) was the youngest of the family and was unable to clearly remember her dashing eldest brother.

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Lieut. H. J. Burton, who is reported missing, is the eldest son of Mr. H. J. Burton, a senior warder at the Adelaide  Gaol. He was born at North Adelaide on March 23, 1895. The latter part of his educational career was spent at the Adelaide High School and at Stott & Hoare's  Business Training College. Ms military career began in 1911, when he joined A Company of the old organization of Senior Cadets, and he passed for the rank of sergeant before the company was disbanded in June of the same year. On July 1, 1911, when compulsory training began, he was a non-commissioned officer in the right half of the 76th Battalion Senior Cadets. Later on, in 1911, he was promoted to the rank of colour-sergeant, and early in 1912 he received his first commission, being gazetted as a second lieutenant at Hindmarsh. It was then that the late Commandant, Col. Le Mesurier, complimented him on being the youngest officer in the British Empire. During 1912 he passed for his two stars in the Senior Cadets. In August that year he attended an infantry school, under Capt. Hoad, in which he passed for a commission in the Citizen Forces, and in November, he was at the musketry school at Mitcham, under Major Heritage, in which he gained a "pass" certificate. In the following year he attended the Easter Camp of the Citizen Force, and was again complimented by Col. Le Mesurier in his work. He did not go over to the Citizen Forces until 1913, when he became 18 years of age, and he went over with a commission he had received in the previous year. At the end of December, 1913, he attended an infantry school at Mount Barker, and passed for lieutenant in the Citizen Forces.

On the outbreak of war his regiment, the 76th Infantry, was sent to Fort Largs, and it was then that he volunteered for service at the front, and was accepted. He was attached as a lieutenant to one of the two companies raised for the 16th Battalion, which went to Egypt and on to the Dardanelles. Lieut. Burton was a clerk in the Lands Titles Department, where he was highly respected." - from the Adelaide Observer 05 Jun 1915 (nla.gov.au)