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Contents:
  1. Ormond Burton - Wikipedia
  2. David Grant
  3. Site navigation
  4. Katherine Knight

The steep Turkish terrain made it difficult to carry the wounded men back to the beaches, and a single journey could take up to three hours. The sufferings of the wounded during these days of battle had been very dreadful.

Ormond Burton - Wikipedia

A man hit somewhere up on the slopes had as often as not to lie all day in the blazing sun, tormented with thirst and tortured by the swarming flies. Even when the stretcher-bearers had found a sufferer and bound up his wounds there was the three mile carry to the seashore. The New Zealand wounded were wonderful in their patience and self-restraint. Through all the terrible journey there was no word of complaint usually only expressions of regret "for causing the stretcher-bearers so much bother.

In December , Burton and the rest of the Anzac forces were evacuated to Egypt. From there he was sent to France and the Western Front, where he would remain for 27 months. In , after one of his close friends was killed, Burton volunteered to take his place in the infantry. He would later remark:. I felt that I should in some fashion try to replace him. The war was still a crusade to many of us.

David Grant

Before the company had proceeded yards from the starting point Sergeant Burton took over the platoon, his officer having been wounded, and with remarkable zeal led his men in to the front line of the attack. Nevertheless, though this arm was useless, he continued bravely to lead his platoon, and under considerable exposure from machinegun, rifle and shellfire he so advantageously disposed of his men that the ridge running south from the village was firmly secured against the enemy.

It was not until many hours after being wounded, and when his platoon was firmly established on the ridge that Sergeant Burton was prevailed upon to be evacuated. I would suggest that the NCO be recommended for some decoration. Conditions on the Western Front in winter were horrific. Instead of the heat and the flies of Gallipoli, the soldiers had to contend with the mud and the cold. Men lived in comfortless iron huts, in old gun-pits rotting with age, grimed with smoke and swarming with rats, and, further up toward the line, in the captured German pill-boxes.

Even where the walls and roof were secure the foundations had been cracked, and the water was rising.

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Often beneath the floorboards were horrors unmentionable, and the stench rising was sickening. Yet these fearful dungeons where the German machine-gunners had fought, died, and after that been buried were the only shelters in the wide muck of desolation.

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Men lived in them, and so utter was their need that these horrible places were looked upon as homes. In , he was asked to write a history of the New Zealand Division, copies of which were given to troops at the armistice under the title Our Little Bit —later revised and published as a full-length book The New Zealand Division , After the armistice, Burton returned to Wellington.


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He was also asked to write the official history of the Auckland Regiment The Auckland Regiment , In the s, Burton worked on his own account of the war and the experience of the New Zealand soldiers, published in as The Silent Division. Near the end of the book, he wrote:. The mass of Germans and British alike were decent human beings.

The great tragedy of the war was not so much that human beasts found unnatural licence, but that ordinary men. After the war, the peace process and the treatment of Germany disheartened Burton. He thought that the terms imposed upon Germany under the Treaty of Versailles were too harsh, and that they had more to do with revenge than with facilitating peace. The disillusionment was rapid and complete.

Katherine Knight

Victory had not brought a new world, and we saw in a flash of illumination that it never could. War is just waste and destruction, solving no problems but creating new and terrible ones. It is now evident that the settlement has not removed any of the causes of war, and that another conflagration is inevitable. It is no use waiting until all are agreed and unanimous negotiations can be passed. Action is imperative. The future belongs always to the prophets and dreamers, and those who have faith and vision sufficient to be fools for the sake of the kingdom of God.

He committed himself fully to pacifism and to the pursuit of his religious ideals, becoming a Methodist minister in , and founding the Christian Pacifist Society CPS in He had attempted to speak out against recruitment in front of a crowd of some people who had gathered outside of Parliament. Over the following months, Burton continued to hold regular meetings and to speak publicly against the war. Arrested multiple times, he served several years in prison, away from his family.

As a Christian man, there was no other thing I could do, save to preach the full Christian Gospel as I understand it. If that brings me into conflict with the law of the land, I deeply regret the fact, but my first obedience is to God. Burton remained a pacifist throughout his life, opposing the stockpiling of nuclear weapons and protesting against the conflict in Vietnam.

He died in at the age of 80, survived by his wife and two children. Can you tell us more about the information on this page? Perhaps you have a related experience you would like to share? Comments will be reviewed prior to posting. Not all comments posted. Tell me more Skip to main content.

First World War service Burton was 21 years old and working as a schoolteacher in the Bay of Plenty when war was declared in August He would later remark: I felt that I should in some fashion try to replace him. Near the end of the book, he wrote: The mass of Germans and British alike were decent human beings. Keywords WW1. See 19 more related events Alfred de Bathe Brandon. Euan Dickson. Malcolm McGregor. William Rhodes-Moorhouse. Keith Caldwell.