Language selection


Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Walter James Burgess

In memory of:

Rifleman Walter James Burgess

December 26, 1941
Repulse Bay, Hong Kong

Military Service

Service Number:







Royal Rifles of Canada, R.C.I.C.


1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal 1939-1945, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp.

Additional Information


September 27, 1919
Cornwall, Ontario

Son of Walter Earl Burgess and Mary Lydia Speck, of Cornwall, Ontario.

Enrolled on 2 August 1940 to the 1st Highlanders, 2nd Battalion, Stormont and Dundas, Glengarry Highlanders – NPAM – service number 3037, replaced with number C-456554. On 26 April 1941, he was transferred to the permanent reserve before being deployed on 18 October 1941 to the 1st Battalion, Royal Rifles of Canada, service number C-57530, to serve in Hong Kong with Force C. He had 346 days of service, including 55 overseas.

Commemorated on Page 25 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Victoria, Hong Kong

Grave Reference:

Column 24.


This SAI WAN MEMORIAL honours over 2,000 men of the land forces of the British Commonwealth and Empire who died in the defence of Hong Kong during the Second World War. The SAI WAN MEMORIAL is in the form of a shelter building 24 metres long and 5.5 metres wide. It stands at the entrance to Sai Wan Bay War Cemetery, outside Victoria, the capital of Hong Kong. From the semi-circular forecourt, two wide openings lead to the interior of the building. The names are inscribed on panels of Portland stone. The dedicatory inscription reads:

1939 - 1945 The officers and men whose memory is honoured here died in the defence of Hong Kong in December 1941 and in the ensuing years of captivity and have no known grave.

The northern side of the Memorial is open and four granite piers support the copper roof. From a commanding position 305 metres above sea level, it looks out over the War Cemetery where some 1,500 men lie buried, and across the water to Mainland China - a magnificent view of sea and mountains. The Cape Collinson area has many cemeteries. Walking up this narrow one-way traffic road, one will pass the Catholic Cemetery situated on the hillside to the left of the road, and the Hong Kong Military Cemetery on the right. Sai Wan War Cemetery is about half way up Cape Collinson Road and faces the Muslim and Buddhist cemeteries. One can also get a taxi from Chai Wan Terminus and follow the same route. Alternatively, one can board a public light bus, Route No.16M, which runs from Chai Wan MTR Terminus to Stanley. En route to Stanley the minibus will pass Sai Wan War Cemetery.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images

  • Memorial– Rifleman WALTER JAMES BURGESS is one of 20 members of the Royal Rifles of Canada, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps who are commemorated on this panel of the Sai Wan Memorial.  He died of wounds substained during the defense of Hong Kong which took place from December 8th to December 25th, 1941.  In total 290 Canadian soldiers were killed and 493 were wounded in this battle.
  • Inscription– Dedicatory inscription of the SAI WAN MEMORIAL.  This memorial  bears the names of more than 2,000 Commonwealth servicemen, including 228 Canadians.
  • Newspaper clipping– Rifleman WALTER JAMES BURGESS was reported Missing in Action in the Canadian Army's 246th overseas casualty list  of the war published in the Hamilton Spectator on January 12, 1943.
  • Canada and the Defence of Hong Kong.– Source: Veterans Affairs Canada.
  • Photo of WALTER JAMES BURGESS– Source: Veterans Affairs Canada.

Learn more about the Canadian Virtual War Memorial

To learn more please visit our help page. If you have questions or comments regarding the information contained in this registry, email or call us. For inquiries regarding the names and information found in the RCMP Honour Roll, please email the RCMP.

Date modified: