Corporal Alexander Stewart Burton

Service Number 384
Birth Date 20 January 1893
Birth Place Australia: Victoria, Kyneton
Death Date 01 January 1970
Death Place Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Marmara, Gallipoli Peninsula
Final Rank Corporal
Units
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 6 April 1916 on page 862 at position 21
London Gazette 28 January 1916 on page 1208 at position 86
Physical description

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.

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.

Rolls

  • First World War Nominal Roll

    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
  • Roll of Honour

    Rank
    Corporal
    Fate
    Killed in action
    Service
    Australian Army
    Unit
    7th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
  • First World War Embarkation Roll

    Rank
    Private
    Place of Embarkation
    Melbourne
    Embarkation Ship
    HMAT Hororata A20
    Date of Embarkation
    19 October 1914
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918

Honours & Awards

  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Victoria Cross
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    7th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Corporal
    London Gazette
    15 October 1915 on page 10154 at position 3
    Commonwealth Gazette
    24 February 1916 on page 456 at position 3
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    7th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Corporal
    London Gazette
    28 January 1916 on page 1208 at position 86
    Commonwealth Gazette
    6 April 1916 on page 862 at position 21
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    7th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lance Corporal
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Victoria Cross
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Date of Recommendation
    22 August 1915
    Unit
    7th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Corporal
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Victoria Cross
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Date of Recommendation
    08 August 1915
    Unit
    B Company
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lance Corporal
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    7th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Corporal

Timeline

Date of birth 1893-01-20
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1914-08-18 7 Battalion.
Date of embarkation 1914-10-19
Date wounded 1915-04-26 Wounded at Gallipoli.
Date of honour or award 1915-07 Mention in Despatches.
Date promoted 1915-07 Appointed Corporal.
Date promoted 1915-07 Appointed Lance Corporal.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915-08-08
Date of death 1915-08-08 - 1915-08-09
Date of honour or award 1915-08-09 Awarded Victoria Cross for action at Lone Pine, Gallipoli, Turkey whilst serving with 7 Battalion, 2 Brigade, 1 Division as a Corporal. This was one of seven Victoria Crosses awarded during this action.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915-08-22
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915-09-01

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