Burton, Lieutenant Ernest Wilfred
No 36 Training Sqn RAF
Ernest Burton was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and was a Clerk living in Lavender Bay, Sydney, when he enlisted in the AIF as a Sapper in the 1st Divisional Signal Company at Sydney on 18 August 1914, before leaving from Sydney on HMAT A10 Karroo on 20 October. He was promoted to Corporal, and served at Gallipoli, before he was commissioned in May 1915. He transferred to the 2nd Infantry Battalion in June 1917 before joining the AFC in August, and graduated as a pilot in March 1918.
He was killed in an aircraft accident at Montrose, Scotland, on 4 April 1918 when flying Sopwith Pup B7529, which fell out of control after it collided with Camel B7338 flown by 2Lt Arthur Arnold Payne, RAF, who was also killed. On the morning of the accident, two pilots in Pups (Lt Burton and 2Lt G Gledhill, Royal Field Artillery and RAF) were to follow 2Lt Payne in the Camel, who was to dip his wings to indicate the direction in which he was turning. The formation carried out one successful turn to the left before the Camel collided with the right wings of Lt Burton’s Pup. The Court of Enquiry found that the collision was due to the misjudgement of one or both of the pilots involved.
Lt E W Burton is buried in Grave A7 36 at Montrose (Sleepyhill) Angus, Scotland