Roy Arthur Burns

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Aug 14, 1897

Born in Cushendall, Ontario.


Feb 22, 1916

Attested into the 59th Battalion in Gananoque, Ontario:

Ø      Number 455902

Ø      Next of kin given as William Burns, foster father, Cushendall, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Methodist


Apr 1, 1916

Embarked the RMS Olympic in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Apr 10, 1916

Prior to disembarking, he reported sick to the Battalion’s Medical Officer.


Apr 11, 1916

Even though he had reported sick, he disembarked in Liverpool, England and proceeded to the Bordon Camp with the rest of the Battalion.


Apr 16, 1916

Admitted to the Farnham Military Hospital in Shorncliffe diagnosed with Pneumonia.  While in hospital here he was exposed to a case of cerebro spinal fever, but his tests for the disease proved to be negative.


May 7, 1916

Transferred to the Bearwood Convalescent Hospital in Wokingham.


Jun 27, 1916

Discharged to duty from hospital.


Jul 6, 1916

The 59th Battalion was absorbed into the 39th Reserve Battalion in West Sandling.


Aug 6, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion.


Aug 7, 1916

Arrived in Havre, France and joined the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp as part of a draft of 27 reinforcements, and was TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion.


Aug 12, 1916

Left the CBD to join the 2nd Entrenching Battalion.


Aug 14, 1916

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion in the Halifax Camp as part of a draft of 19 reinforcements destined for the 21st Battalion.


Sep 3, 1916

Left the 2nd Entrenching Battalion and joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Zouafques, France and was assigned to “B” Company.  The Battalion had just replaced their Ross rifles with the Lee Enfield and were preparing for the attack on Courcelette.


Oct 19, 1916

Attached to the 4th Field Company, Canadian Engineers for duty.


Nov 12, 1916

Rejoined the 21st Battalion from the 4th Field Company.


Apr 9, 1917

Private Burns received shrapnel wounds to his left leg and right arm during the advance on Vimy Ridge.  After being assessed by the Battalion’s Medical Officer, he was removed to the Field Ambulance for first aid.  From there he was transferred to the Casualty Clearing Station for additional treatment.


Apr 11, 1917

Transferred to the No. 14 General Hospital at Wimereux.


Apr 12, 1917

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship St. Andrew

Posted to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) while in hospital.


Apr 14, 1917

Admitted to the Red Cross Hospital in Neston.


Apr 15, 1917

Transferred to the 1st Western General Hospital in Liverpool.


May 18, 1917

Transferred to the Venice St. Auxiliary Hospital in Liverpool.


May 30, 1917

Transferred to the Summerdon Convalescent Hospital in Eastbourne.


Jun 14, 1917

Transferred to the Canadian Military Hospital in Eastbourne.


Jun 18, 1917

After being cleared by the medical board, he was discharged from hospital and posted to the 6th Reserve Battalion in Seaford.


Nov 24, 1917

Confined in the Wandsworth Detention Barracks.  This was assessed for being AWL (Absent Without Leave) from October 2, 1917 to October 22, 1917.  In addition to the loss of pay while in detention, he forfeited 21 days pay and allowances under a Royal Warrant.


Dec 13, 1917

Released from the detention barracks and rejoined the 6th Reserve Battalion.


Sep 4, 1918

Transferred to the 21st Battalion.


Sep 5, 1918

Arrived at that CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France as part of a draft of 797 reinforcements for the front and TOS the 21st Battalion.


Sep 9, 1918

Left the CIBD and joined the CC Rein C (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp) in Aubin St. Vaast as part of a draft of 69 reinforcements for the 2nd Division Battalions.


Sep 10, 1918

Left the CC Rein C to join the 21st Battalion.


Sep 11, 1918

Rejoined the 21st Battalion in Divisional Reserve on the Droucourt Queant Line as part of a draft of 50 reinforcements.


Oct 11, 1918

During the advance on Avesnes le Sec, west of Iwuy, France, Private Burns was killed in action.

Above is from the 21st Battalion's War Diary describing the action.

Niagara Cemetery
Iwuy France

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his foster father, William Burns, RR #1 Kingston Mills, Ontario.

There was no Memorial Cross issued.


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