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Thread: 2nd Lt Burns David Black Watch

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    2nd Lt Burns David Black Watch

    Posted on facebook photos of memorial of 2nd Lt David Burns Posted by our friend in Belgium
    Pension Records
    Name: Davids Burns
    Gender: Male
    Birth Date: abt 1875
    Birth Place: Dundee, Forfar
    Age: 19
    Document Year: 1894
    Regimental Number: 5550
    Regiment Name:
    Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
    Form Title: Short Service Attestation
    Number of Images: 12
    Family Members: Name
    Relation to Soldier

    Davids Burns Self (Head)
    Ann Burns Mother
    Wrong information above This the correct soldier that was posted on facebook
    Initials: D C
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Second Lieutenant
    Regiment/Service: Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
    Unit Text: 8th Bn.
    Age: 19
    Date of Death: 30/09/1918
    Additional information: Son of David and Clara Burns, of Birch Lodge, Copse Hill, Wimbledon, London.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Grave/Memorial Reference: South west corner.
    I first posted this Officer 2008
    Last edited by ARMAGH; 6th November 2017 at 22:42.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Chalky can you find out any more details on this officer? maybe the museum may have some thing.
    17th November 2008, 20:01 #5

    Join Dateec 2006Location:ARMAGHPosts:4,118
    Re: 2Lt David Chambers Burns
    Originally Posted By: ARMAGHFollow the N32 through Dadizele and just past the town of Dadizele follow the left hand turn to Slypskapelle. The Plot Of Honour is situated in Dorpsplein ... - Similar pagescemetery

    Thanks Pat
    A friend of mine Joe Hubble(Black Watch man) is trying to find out details about this young officier, why is he buried on his own? at Slypskapelle Plot of Honour? There is just one Commonwealth burial there? why was he not shifted to a CWGC Cemetery?

  3. #3
    Administrator Chalky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    2nd Lieut. David Chalmers Burns, 8th Bn. The Black Watch.

    D C Burns.jpg

    Old boy of Wimbledon College and Stonyhurst. Born 1898. O.S. 1914. Killed in action, October 1st, 1918, at Slypskappelle, in Flanders, during the Battle of Ypres, 1918.

    Lieut. David Chalmers Burns, who fell in action on October ist, 1918, was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. David Burns, of Birch Lodge, Wimbledon, and formerly of Valparaiso, Chile, where he was born in 1898. He was educated at Wimbledon College and Stonyhurst, returning to the Army Class at Wimbledon College to prepare for the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, from which he was gazetted in December, 1917, to the Black Watch, proceeding to the front in July, 1918.

    He was active in College sports, acquiring a reputation as an excellent all-round athlete, and also at the camp in Ireland, where he was temporarily posted for training to a battalion of his regiment.

    It was as his Company Commander wrote later,
    greatly owing to his successful efforts that my company won the Inter-Company Shield for most points in the Regimental Sports.

    The same officer said of him that he was" very keen and intelligent, and fond of his work."
    During the few months of his service abroad he proved a most efficient platoon officer, endearing himself to the men with whom he was in contact, and to his fellow officers," as is testified by letters to his parents.

    His Company Commander wrote :
    I have lost my best comrade and most promising officer " ; and a fellow subaltern : " I cannot sufficiently express my sympathy for your great loss. He was a good friend of mine, and his men loved him as well as all of the officers.

    As to the manner of his death, at the Battle of Ypres, 1918, his battalion C.O. wrote :
    Until he was killed by rifle or machine gun fire, he led his platoon right gallantly. We were advancing through a wood, and he had been hit in the leg. This wound he had evidently just bandaged up, when he was hit in the head. I do not think he suffered any pain from the last wound, and his spirit of determined leadership overcame what he felt from the first. His work with the battalion was of first-rate order, and I can personally assure you his powers of command and leadership were reflected in his platoon, which was one of the best, and while any of his lads are in it your lad's memory will not be forgotten in the platoon. They have done well since your boy fell, and I know how much of their success rests on what he taught them, and how he led them.

    To this is added :
    Be really assured we do feel for you. We know how we miss his cheery presence, and in some measure that helps us to understand the loss you have sustained.

    He was buried in a little clearing by the wood where he fell and re-interred in Slypskappelle churchyard.

    The extracts from the following letters show the esteem in which he was held by his brother officers.

    Copy of a letter received from the Rev. W. Kennedy, C.F., by his mother : -
    He was killed instantaneously by a bullet near the little village of Slypskappelle, about ten miles east of Ypres. I am so glad to be able to confirm the news you have already received as regards his preparation for death and burial. He was a most exemplary boy in every way, and I can hardly tell you that his unexpected death was a great shock to me, as he was an example of piety and virtue, and consequently, his influence made itself felt amongst the Catholics of the battalion, and especially those in his own company. He served my mass, and was at Confession and Communion a few days before his death.

    A brother officer wrote :
    I knew your son very well, as I was at Sandhurst with him. We left at the same time, and were again at the Curragh together, and later in France. I saw him the day before he was hit. I and my platoon were filling up a gap between him and the Belgians. This was late in the day, on September 29th. . . . We launched an attack at 11 o'clock a.m. on September 30th. The machine gun fire was exceptionally heavy, and we had no barrage. . . . I found myself in the centre and not in touch with the right. I then noticed the right retiring, and soon after got orders to retire myself. It was then I learnt that your poor son had been killed. . . . He was a good friend of mine, and I know his men also loved him, as well as all the officers.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Thanks Chalky I will pass on to my Belgium friends


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