Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 25, 1895
Place of BirthAberdeen, Aberdeenshire
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Jeannie Burness, mother, 305 Scotia Street, West Kildonan, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingClerk
Service Details
Regimental Number2650703
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion76th Depot Battery
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Field Artillery
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at Enlistment305 Scotia Street, West Kildonan, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 8, 1918
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 20, 1932
Age at Death36
Buried AtOld Chauvin Cemetery, Chauvin, Alberta

Burness, Alexander

Alexander Burness was born on 25 July 1895 in the parish of St Nicholas in the city of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. His father Alexander Burness (flesher, butcher) was born in 1858 in the same parish, while his mother Jane (Jeannie) Manzie Duff was born in 1853 in Kirden, Angus. The couple married in 1884 in Aberdeenshire by warrant of sheriff substitute (they had been together for a while). Alexander had an older sister, Vera Philips Burness. By the 1901 England census the family was living on Plough Road in Battersea, London where Alexander Sr was working as a butcher.

The family was next found on the passenger list of the Ionion that arrived in Montreal on 5 June 1905. Alexander Sr was listed as a butcher and a returning Canadian, and the destination was given as Winnipeg. They settled in the West Kildonan area of Winnipeg. Although a death record was not found for Alexander Sr, by the 1911 census Jeannie was listed as widow and Alexander Jr was working as a salesman. Vera had married Arthur Marshall that April in Winnipeg and was no longer living with the family. Alexander, living with his mother, was working as a clerk in the 1916 census.

Alexander signed his recruitment papers in Winnipeg on 18 February 1918. His occupation was given as clerk and his mother Jeannie in Winnipeg as next of kin. At some point Alexander must have lived in Kenora in northwestern Ontario as the 29 August 1918 edition of the local newspaper reported Alexander, along with a number of other Kenora fellows, passing through the town on a train with the 76th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. They were on their way to Petawawa to train before heading overseas.

With the 145th Draft of the 76th Depot Battery, Alexander embarked from Quebec on 10 September 1918 aboard the Themistocles. Once in England he was taken on strength with the Reserve Brigade, CFA at Witley. With the end of the war, Alexander went through a series of transfers in the UK before embarking for Canada from Liverpool aboard the Caronia on 9 August 1919.

Alexander returned to Winnipeg, later moving to the Chauvin/Wainwright area of Alberta. Although he had been living in Chauvin, Alexander died on 20 April 1932 in the Wainwright Hospital. He is interred in the Old Chauvin Cemetery in Chauvin. His mother Jeannie died in 1934 and his sister Vera Marshall in 1944, both in Winnipeg. They are interred in the Old Kildonan Cemetery in Winnipeg.

by Judy Stockham

grave marker photo: Ilene on
obituaries: Winnipeg Free Press

Burness-Alexander-1 Burness-Alexander-4 Burness-Alexander-5 Burness-Alexander-6

« Back To Soldier Biographies