Alexander BURNS


BURNS, Alexander

Service Number: 5237
Enlisted: 16 August 1915, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: Royal Flying Corps
Born: Rosewood, Queensland, 11 February 1893
Home Town: Brisbane, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Mechanical draftsman
Died: Died of Injuries , Gosport, England, 20 April 1917, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery
Hampshire, England 29 23291
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Indooroopilly War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

16 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 5237, Brisbane, Queensland
17 Jan 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant
31 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 15th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
31 Mar 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 15th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Star of Victoria, Sydney
11 Oct 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 15th Infantry Battalion
22 Oct 1916: Transferred Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps
Date unknown: Involvement 15th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

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On 22 Oct 1916 he was discharged from the AIF and took a Commission as Lieutenant in the Royal Australian Flying Corps (47th Squadron, 12th Brigade).

Alexander Burns died from his injuries after the plane he was flying crash landed, breaking both of his legs on 20 Apr 1917.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

The summary below was completed by Cathy Sedgwick – Facebook “WW1 Australian War Graves in England/UK/Scotland/Ireland

Died on this date – 20th April.... Alexander Burns was born at Rosewood, Queensland in 1893. He joined the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) on 16th August, 1915 as a 22 year old Mechanical Draftsman (Engineer listed on Embarkation Roll) from Brisbane, Queensland.

Second Lieutenant Alexander Burns embarked from Sydney, NSW on HMAT Star of Victoria (A16) on 31st March, 1916 with the 4th Infantry Brigade, 15th Infantry Battalion, 16th Reinforcements. He was marched in at Tel-el-Kebir on 5th May, 1916 from Australia.

Second Lieutenant Burns was transferred to 47th Battalion on 20th May, 1916 & reallotted from 4th Training Battalion to 12th Training Battalion as Reinforcements for 47th Battalion on 24th May, 1916.

Second Lieutenant Burns arrived in France on 14th June, 1916 & joined 47th Battalion in France on 10th August, 1916.

Second Lieutenant Alexander Burns was promoted to Lieutenant in the Field on 11th October, 1916. (Note: the Statement of Service form records Alexander Burns was Lieutenant from 17th January, 1916).

Lieutenant Alexander Burns was transferred to R.F.C. (Royal Flying Corps) on 20th October, 1916.

Lieutenant Alexander Burns was discharged from Australian Imperial Force in UK & appointed to a Commission in Royal Flying Corps on 22nd October, 1916.

Lieutenant Alexander Burns joined No. 2 Royal Flying Corps School of Instruction at Oxford on 23rd October, 1916. He was attached to No. 59 Reserve Squadron.

Lieutenant Alexander Burns was flying a De Havilland D. H. 1A, serial number A1625 on 20th April, 1917. He was practising stalling & failed to regain control of the aeroplane at Grange, Gosport, Hampshire, England.

Lieutenant Alexander Burns died at 9.30 pm on 20th April, 1917 in Hospital at Gosport, Hampshire, England from injuries sustained in an aeroplane accident – both legs broken.

A Court of Inquiry found that the machine was in perfect flying condition & that the accident was due to pilot failing to regain control of the machine after stalling.

Lieutenant Alexander Burns was buried on 26th April, 1917 in Ann’s Hill Cemetery, Gosport, Hampshire, England – Plot number 29. 23291 and has a Private Headstone. His death is still acknowledged by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

(The above is a summary of my research. The full research can be found by following the link below)