Studio portrait of 384 Corporal Alexander Stewart Burton, VC, 7th Battalion. This portrait was ...

Accession Number H06785
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made 1914-1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Studio portrait of 384 Corporal Alexander Stewart Burton, VC, 7th Battalion. This portrait was taken prior to embarkation as a private in August 1914 and following his posthumous award of the Victoria Cross, the medal and corporal's stripes were added to the image. Alexander Burton was one of three Australian soldiers awarded the Victoria Cross for one particular action during the fighting at Lone Pine, although his was the only posthumous award. Born in Kyneton, Victoria, in 1893, Burton was working as an ironmonger when war broke out. He joined the AIF and was posted to the 7th Battalion. Although he missed the landing on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, he watched it from the deck of a hospital ship, where he was being treated for a throat infection. A week later he was in the trenches, fighting with the 7th Battalion in a number of different areas. In the early hours of 9 August, at Lone Pine, the Turks launched a strong counter-attack on a newly captured trench held by Burton, Lieutenant Frederick Tubb, Corporal William Dunstan, and others. The Turks advanced up a sap and blew in the sandbag barricade but Burton, Tubb, and Dunstan rebuilt it. The enemy twice more destroyed the barricade but each time was driven off and the barricade rebuilt. Burton was killed by a bomb while he was building up the parapet. He has no known grave, but his name is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, and by an oak tree and bridge at Euroa, Victoria. His Citation (abridged): "In the early morning of 9th August the enemy made a determined counter-attack on a newly-captured trench held by Lieutenant Tubb, Corporals Burton, Dunstan and a few men. They advanced up a trench and blew in a sandbag barricade, but Tubb and the two corporals repulsed the enemy and rebuilt the barricade. Strong enemy bombing parties twice again succeeded in blowing in the barricade, but on each occasion the enemy were repulsed and the barricade rebuilt, although Tubb was wounded and Corporal Burton killed while most gallantly building up the parapet under a hail of bombs".