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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Ira Urban Burgess

In memory of:

Able Seaman Ira Urban Burgess

September 20, 1943

South of Iceland, Iceland

Military Service


Service Number:

A/4554

Age:

31

Force:

Navy

Unit:

Royal Canadian Navy Reserve

Division:

H.M.C.S. St Croix

Additional Information


Born:

April 6, 1912
South West Port Mouton, Nova Scotia

Enlistment:

May 9, 1941
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Son of Thomas Burgess and of Lucy Ann Burgess of South West Port Mouton, Nova Scotia. Husband of Florence M. Burgess of South West Port Mouton, Nova Scotia. Father of Ira Richard Burgess who was born on March 25, 1944.

The HMCS St. Croix was originally built as USS McCook for the United States Navy and decommissioned on 30 Jun, 1922. On 18 Dec, 1939, she was recommissioned and transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS St. Croix on 24 Sep, 1940.

At 21.51 hours on 20 Sep, 1943, the HMCS St. Croix was hit in the stern by a Gnat from U-305 while escorting the convoy ON-202 south of Iceland. She sank within six minutes after being hit by a T-3 coup de grâce from the same U-boat at 22.44 hours.

Commemorated on Page 141 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

HALIFAX MEMORIAL
Nova Scotia, Canada

Grave Reference:

Panel 7.

Location:

The HALIFAX MEMORIAL in Nova Scotia's capital, erected in Point Pleasant Park, is one of the few tangible reminders of the men who died at sea. Twenty-four ships were lost by the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War and nearly 2,000 members of the RCN lost their lives. This Memorial was erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and was unveiled in November 1967 with naval ceremony by H.P. MacKeen, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, in the presence of R. Teillet, then Minister of Veterans Affairs. The monument is a great granite Cross of Sacrifice over 12 metres high, clearly visible to all ships approaching Halifax. The cross is mounted on a large podium bearing 23 bronze panels upon which are inscribed the names of over 3,000 Canadian men and women who were buried at sea. The dedicatory inscription, in French and English, reads as follows:

1914-1939
1918-1945
IN THE HONOUR OF
THE MEN AND WOMEN
OF THE NAVY
ARMY AND MERCHANT NAVY
OF CANADA
WHOSE NAMES
ARE INSCRIBED HERE
THEIR GRAVES ARE UNKNOWN
BUT THEIR MEMORY
SHALL ENDURE.

On June 19, 2003, the Government of Canada designated September 3rd of each year as a day to acknowledge the contribution of Merchant Navy Veterans.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Photo of Ira Burgess– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me

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