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Sgt Kenneth Harwood Burton, 404001, Royal Armoured Corps and 11 Cdo  XML
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Belly
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I'm currently researching Sergeant Kenneth Harwood Burton, 404001, of the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) and 11 Cdo, who was sadly killed in action during Operation Exporter, the Litani River raid, on 9th June 1941. See Roll of Honour here:
http://www.commandoveterans.org/KennethHarwoodBurton11Commando

My first query/request for help is regarding his parent regiment which is stated in the Roll of Honour as RAC and on the Nominal Roll as 2nd Dragoons, R Scots Greys, RAC:
http://www.commandoveterans.org/11CommandoNomRollA-C

I am in possession of a copy of his service records which state (paraphrasing):

  • Following on enlistment on 23/06/1930 he was sent to the 1st King's Dragoon Guards on 26/06/1930.

  • On 04/03/1932 he was posted to Royal Dragoons aka The 1st Royal Dragoons in India, before moving on to Egypt on 20/11/1935.

  • He returned back to the UK on 13/05/1936 before transferring on to the Section B Army Reserve on 29/09/1936.

  • He was mobilised in Edinburgh 02/09/1939 and sent to the 3rd CT (Cavalry Training) Regiment before being posted as a Sergeant in the 11th Scottish Commando on 12/10/1940.

  • The rest is history and is covered in Ian McHarg's excellent book Litani River:
    http://www.litaniriver.com/

    A photograph of his original headstone, states:
    1. 404001, Sgt K Burton, Royals
    https://www.combinedops.com/Litani_River.htm

    Similarly the CWGC Graves Concentration Report Form states his regiment as 1/Royals, 11 Scottish Commando and the Headstone Schedule and Graves Registration Report Form have him down as RAC:
    http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2188396/BURTON,%20KENNETH%20HARWOOD

    In addition, the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) didn't officially become part of the RAC until a month after his untimely death, and the pattern of his movements match exactly that of the 1st Royal Dragoons.

    As such, I'm led to believe that his parent regiment as stated in the Nominal Roll i.e. 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) is incorrect and his parent regiment was in fact the Royal Dragoons aka 1st The Royal Dragoons.
    If anyone has any evidence to the contrary that he did in fact serve with the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) whilst posted to 11 Cdo, I would welcome to see it.

    Finally this is a huge ask, but if anyone has a photograph of him I would really like to see a copy. I know Pete Rogers has previously had long dialogue with National Museum Scotland and the Isle of Arran Heritage Museum and extracted the majority of their archives for upload onto this site, but you never know your luck.

    Many thanks
    Paul

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 23/01/2017 15:30:10


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    Pete
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    Hi Paul

    Thanks for the update from his service record which I have added to his bio page here:

    http://www.commandoveterans.org/KennethHarwoodBurton11Commando

    I'm sure Nick or Graham will respond in relation to the source for the nominal roll entry should they have it.

    Pete

    Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
    God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
    When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.


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    Belly
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    Many thanks Pete

    I assume there is not much point me contacting the National Museum Scotland and the Isle of Arran Heritage Museum for any further information as I see from the gallery you have been working very closely with them to share their material on here?

    Kind regards
    Paul

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    Pete
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    H Paul

    The National Museum Scotland images of the officers of No 11 Commando actually originated from the Isle of Arran Heritage Centre who had received them from an officer in the Commando. On my visit to the Centre some years back they gave permission for us to copy the commando images they had for our online Archive. However with the officers images they had only kept photocopies so by no means ideal, Hence my approach to the NMS.

    As to whether the NMS, or the National Army Museum in England, or indeed the Imperial War Museum, have additional photos of No 11 you would have to contact them. I am sure there will be a few tucked away in drawers somewhere out there !

    Pete

    Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
    God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
    When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.


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    Pete
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    One last point of reference may be the archives of newspapers local to where he lived. Some posted images of local lads who were killed.

    Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
    God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
    When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.


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    Belly
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    Thanks Pete

    I'll follow those leads up when I get chance. Some additional information for his bio:

    He was born 02/03/1912 in Rhondda, Wales. He was a butcher's assistant when he enlisted/attested aged 18 in Pontypridd in the rank of Trooper for 'Cavalry of the Line', for 6 years with colours and 6 in reserve.

    In 1949 his medal entitlement was sent to his next of kin in Soham Cambridgeshire, so it looks like the family had moved around since he originally enlisted some 19 years earlier.

    Kind regards
    Paul

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 23/01/2017 17:20:47


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    NIC
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    Hi Paul,

    Many thanks for the information you have provided regarding Sgt Burton's parent regiment.

    Obviously when we compile these Nominal Rolls the greatest of care is taken to get the details accurate and lists of names are checked and double checked but it is inevitable that errors will occur.

    Unfortunately, we don't have the benefit of access to individual's service records - which would be the best resource available to us - which means we do rely very much on the various source(s) of our information being accurate in the first place.
    However, we know that even official War Diaries aren't always accurate; we have found errors in the Commando Casualties - a record of fallen commandos compiled, post-war, by the most august body of Commando leaders and we have alerted the CWGC of errors in their records concerning commandos in a number of cases.

    We do acknowledge, on each Nominal Roll, that there may be errors, and we always welcome suggested amendments /corrections from people - thanks and keep them coming...

    Nick

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 23/01/2017 22:05:33


    Nick Collins,

    Commando Association Archivist & Photographer.

    Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

    "Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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    Belly
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    Hi Nick

    No problem at all, its fair to say there may very well be inaccuracies in service records too, which is why it's always good to gather information from as many sources as possible. I think in this instance it does seem fairly conclusive and the additional records that the CWGC has now published on its website are a great help. Obviously you can't delve into that level of detail for each of the tens of thousand men on the CVA's nominal rolls, but the effort the CVA has put in to compiling the information and publishing it in the public domain is incredible. Please keep up the good work, I'm glad I could contribute in a very small way.

    If anybody has any additional information about Kenneth Harwood Burton, or can provide any leads I'd love to hear from them.

    Thanks
    Paul

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    GUY
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    Paul,
    His RAC attestation record appears to list him as Kenneth HORWOOD Burton. I assumed it was a clerical error, but on checking I found his mother's maiden name was Horwood.
    Are there any next of kin details on the service records to help trace any living relatives?
    Guy
    [Thumb - BURTON.png]
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    Belly
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    Thanks Guy, appreciate your help!
    The medals were sent to:
    Dr W D V Burton, at the Medical Centre in Soham Cambs. I believe this Dr Burton was commissioned in the Royal Norfolk Reg in WWII

    It does look like Horwood on the service records, but all the CWGC clearly state Harwood?

    Cheers
    Paul
    [Thumb - KHB.JPG]
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    Army Commando: Setting Europe ablaze since 1940

    Collector of Army Commando Insignia & Memorabilia - desperately looking for printed shoulder titles
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    GUY
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    Paul,
    It does look like Horwood on the service record. Kenneth's mother was Penelope Horwood, she married Samuel Albert Burton in Pontypridd, Glamorganshire 4Q 1909. I'll have a look at the next of kin.
    Guy
    [Thumb - Burton : Horwood.png]
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    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 24/01/2017 21:34:51

    Pete
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    The CWGC are naturally quite strict on making any changes however they will do so if provided with sufficient official documentation. Can I ask one of you to put together what you find with scans of the documents concerned and include if you can find it a copy of his birth certificate showing Horwood as the middle name. Then email them attaching the scans and asking them to consider amending their online database. From past experience I think they will want his birth certificate as well.

    [email protected]


    Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
    God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
    When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.


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    Belly
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    Will do Pete, just compiling as much documentary evidence as we can first.
    Thanks
    Paul

    Army Commando: Setting Europe ablaze since 1940

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