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Henry John Burden collection
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CA ON00093 2004/22
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5.5 cm of textual records
23 photographs: b&w; 17.5 x 12.5 or smaller
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Captain Henry John Burden (1893-1960) served as a fighter pilot in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) during the First World War. His service began in 1915 when he was commissioned in the 9th Mississauga Horse, a unit that later became the 75th Battalion. Burden was later transferred to the 11th Canadian Machine Gun Corps in May 1916, in which he fought at St. Eloi, the Somme, and Vimy. He rapidly tired of trench warfare however, and in April 1917, decided to join the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). Following the completion of his training, he was posted to the 75th and the 85th Squadrons, both of which were located in Britain. After some time spent without seeing any real action, Burden finally left for his posting in the 56th Squadron in France on February 6th, 1918. There, he flew on patrols and special missions, and particularly asserted himself in an air battle on August 10th, during which he eliminated 5 enemy aircraft. In total, Burden flew 137 hours, and shot down 21 enemy aircraft. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his outstanding service in the RFC, and was officially discharged on January 1st, 1919. Burden began his service in the Second World War as an administrative officer in 1939, and he was made a full Wing Commander in March 1941.
Scope and content
Collection consists of material documenting Captain Henry John Burden's service with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) during the First World War. Includes 23 black and white photographs, a copy of H.J. Burden's 1918 diary, a copy of his Pilot's Flying Log Book, and various other documents. The diary records training and daily life in the 75th and 85th Squadrons, as well as activities and air combats of the 56th Squadron. There are further details of the 56th's patrols and special missions in the Pilot's Flying Log Book, including dates, times, types of aircraft, and remarks by H.J. Burden. He also describes various battles in the short narratives that follow his air combat reports. Also includes newspaper articles and biographical pieces about H.J. Burden's life and military service.
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The immediate source of acquisition is unknown.
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No further accruals are expected.
Further information on Captain Burden may be found in the F.H. Hitchins Papers in the Document Collection, under the file number 75/514. A finding aid to the papers is located in Folder "A". Captain H.J. Burden is the brother-in-law of WW1 flying ace Billy Bishop.
Originally titled "Biographical File - Burden, Henry John."
Further information on Captain Burden may be found in the F.H. Hitchins Papers in the Document Collection, under the file number
Captain H.J. Burden is the brother-in-law of WW1 flying ace Billy Bishop.