Burdett Arthur Graham Second Lieutenant

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Personnel Entry

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Name Burdett Arthur Graham
Army number 130513.
Rank Second Lieutenant
Decorations Awarded the George Medal - gazetted 1/12/1944. For Citation - see below.
Date of birth Born 17/4/1919, Louth, Lincolnshire. Mother's maiden surname Kay.
Age (At time of death) 86.
Unit Served as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers. Posted to O.C.T.U. 141 or 142 - Royal Engineers. Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers 11/5/1940. Posted to 294th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Posted to the 756th Field Company. Served Normandy.
Platoon or other sub-unit Not yet known.
Task or role Details awaited.
Joined Brigade Not yet known.
Promotions Temporary Captain.
Wounded Not so far as is known.
Prisoner of War Not so far as is known.
Died/Killed in action Died 16/3/2006 aged 86 at Sheffield.
Home address Lived in Louth, Lincolnshire and then Sheffield. Father John Oliver Burdett (1870 - 1922). Mother Violet Agnes Kay (1887 - 1987). Married Christine Dykes April 1961.
Source table

Some information on this Page has been extracted from the Commemorative Booklet, prepared by Major Langley, covering the period from D-Day to VE Day in addition to that extracted from the War Diaries. There are issues around the possible duplication of names which remain to be clarified.

The Citation supporting the award of the George Medal to Captain Burdett was downloaded from the National Archives under the Covid-19 arrangements and the text reads as follows:-

Lieutenant (temporary Captain) Arthur Graham Burdett (130513), Corps of Royal Engineers, and

No. 1885636 Corporal Frederick John Jackson, Corps of Royal Engineers.

Off the coast of Normandy, on 11th June, 1944, a bomb weighing approximately 1,200 kilograms and thought to be of the glider type, struck the ship in which both Captain Burdett and Corporal Jackson were sailing in convoy. A number of men were injured and the ship's steering gear was put out of action. The ship was carrying about 650 officers and men, together with a valuable cargo of vehicles and equipment.

The bomb, which failed to explode, became buried in coal which was constantly shifting owing to the movement of the ship. Captain Burdett obtained permission from the ship's Captain to try and dispose of the bomb. He, Captain Burdett, with Corporal Jackson, proceeded below taking the unit's bomb disposal outfit with them. Working in great difficulties, owing to the dark, the shifting coal, and with the danger that the slightest false move might actuate the bomb fuse, they succeeded, after two attempts, in neutralizing the fuse. The bomb was then moved under the hatch and, with the assistance of other men belonging to the unit, it was lifted by the ship's derrick and deposited overboard.

There is no doubt that but for the cool and courageous action of this officer and N.C.O., a valuable cargo of some 650 officers and men, together with their vehicles and equipment, would have been lost.

The co-operation of the National Archives in facilitating access to document WO 373/68/853 is gratefully acknowledged.