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2nd Lieutenant Arthur Herbert Rosdew Burn

Menin Gate Memorial Panel 5

1st Royal Dragoons, 6th Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division

Age 22

KIA 30.10.14

Son of Colonel Sir Charles Rosdew Burn MP and the Hon. Ethel Louise Forbes-Leith. They also had a daughter Lorna and another son Robert Ian Algernon. They had two homes 77 Cadogan Square, London and Stoodley Knowle, Torquay. Sir Charles was Conservative MP for Torquay from 1910 to 1923 when he was created a Baronet, in 1926 he changed the family name to that of his wife becoming known as Charles Forbes-Leith of Fyvie this allowed him to inherit the family seat of Fyvie Castle. Sir Charles was also ADC to King George V from 1910 to 1926. He served with the 8th Hussars and the 1st Dragoons before he was transferred to the Gordon Highlanders in 1899. During the Boer War he served with the Imperial Yeomanry and later with the Westminster Dragoons. During the First World War his wife and daughter established a hospital for the wounded at Stoodley Knowle and Ethel was commandant while her daughter was Matron. After the war Sir Charles continued his Conservative Party membership but also was a member of the British Fascisti, changing their name to British Fascists in 1924,when it was formed in 1923 being a member of their nine-man Grand Council and he was also a member of the National Citizens Union, a fascist pressure group.


Early Life

Arthur was born on 30 June 1892. He was educated at Ludgrove and Eton and went to Christchurch College, Oxford in 1911. He left school early in 1909 to travel to Heidelberg University in Germany to learn the language before he went onto Oxford. While at Oxford he was a member of the infamous Bullingdon and Bachelors’ Clubs.. He spent most of his time before the war on the Fyvie estate near Turriff in Aberdeenshire being described as an expert rider and possessed a fondness for the gun and rod being a thorough and skilful sportsman. He was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Dragoons in August 1914 and was appointed as interpreter to the Brigadier. On 28 October he was sent to France in command of twenty replacements and their horses and made his way to the Royal Dragoons who were in the line at Klein Zillebeke. The War Diary records his arrival.

War Diary records his arrival with replacements

His Death

On the 30 October ‘A’ Squadron was holding the trenches around Hollebeke Chateau and came under heavy German shelling and attack from German infantry.

Linesman Map

At 3pm ‘A’ Squadron was ordered to retire and  ‘C’ Squadron was sent forward in support and it during this action that Arthur was killed. The War Diary records his death.

War Diary recording his death

His death was reported in the press. His father, then serving on the General Staff and carrying despatches to Field Marshal French , commander of the BEF, asked French for permission to go to the Royal Dragoons to get information on his son’s death. He was given a car and went to the front line. The press report goes on: ‘…There he met an officer who witnessed the death of his son. The officer stated that Lieutenant Burn, along with two other soldiers of the Royal Dragoons, were waiting to go into the trenches… the Germans were advancing in great masses, when suddenly a shell burst just above Lieutenant Burn and his comrades killing Lieutenant Burn and one of his companions.’

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