Charles Henry Burke

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Nov 21, 1885

Born in Portsmouth, Ontario.


Aug 6, 1914

Volunteered with the 14th Regiment Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles, in Kingston, Ontario, number 1938 and assigned to “F” Company.


Nov 5, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario: 

Ø      Number 59114 (temporary number 40)

Ø      Next of kin given as Edward Burke, brother, Portsmouth, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as labourer

Ø      Previous military experience given as 14th Regiment, PWOR

Ø      Religion given as Roman Catholic

Ø      Assigned to “A” Company


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec


May 15, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and proceeded to West Sandling, near Hythe, Kent.


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol at Folkestone


Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked in Boulogne, France and proceeded to St. Omer.


Sep 28, 1915

Attached to the 4th Brigade Bath Fatigue party for duty.


Mar 1, 1916

Attached to the 2nd Division Convalescent Company Hospital but remained employed with the Bath Fatigue party.


Nov 5, 1916

Awarded the Good Conduct Badge for 2 years of good service.


May 30, 1917

Rejoined the 21st Battalion from the Bath Party.


Jun 8, 1917

Granted 10 days leave.


Jun 20, 1917

Rejoined the Battalion from leave.


Jun 30, 1917

Admitted to the Field Ambulance diagnosed with VDG (Venereal Disease Gonorrhea).


Jul 8, 1917

Transferred to the No. 51 General Hospital in Etaples.


Jul 31, 1917

Discharged to Base Details from hospital.  Joined the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) at Etaples and assigned to “A” Company for those recovering from wounds and illness.

His pay was deducted 50¢ per day and loss of the Field Allowance for the 28 days he was in hospital as punishment for contracting the Venereal Disease.


Aug 27, 1917

The Medical Board classified him as PB (Permanent Base) meaning that he was not suitable for combat duty.


Sep 1, 1917

Transferred to and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 4th Canadian Labour Battalion headquartered at Vierstraat, Belgium.


Feb 23, 1918

Granted 14 days leave to proceed to England.


Mar 10, 1918

Rejoined the Labour Battalion from leave.


Mar 31, 1918

The 4th Canadian Labour Battalion was renamed the 2nd Canadian Infantry Works Battalion.


May 13, 1918

While on a work party assisting the Railway Troops clearing the trench tramways, he was killed by the explosion of a German artillery shell.


May 14, 1918

He was buried by his comrades in the Ablain St. Nazaire Cemetery.  This was later renamed the Sucrerie Cemetery.

Following the war the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his brother, Mr. Edward Joseph Burke, c/o the Bank of Montreal, Sudbury, Ontario.

There was no Memorial Cross issued.


Private Burke is commemorated on the Memorial Wall in Kingston, Ontario.

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