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Voyage Overseas

Heroes Remember

We sat on Bedford Basin for two days and then the cruiser, Carnarvan and four troops ships took off for England and the lead ship behind the cruiser Carnarvan, was the Scandinavian and then there was the Candanonian, the Scotian and the Meta Gama;those were the four troops ships. We took off at noon, I don't know the exact date from Halifax and we headed across the Atlantic at 10 knots and the ship changed its course 30 degrees every 15 minutes. I mean it would go like this way and this way and this way, this way... to avoid any possibility of the submarines picking up their course and getting them away and sinking them. And that was standard practice to have these sort of things going for the ships, for the transports and everything. We went around the North end of Ireland and then we'd go down to Liverpool and we'd see four destroyers coming out there, being up on the bridge, you could see all this, you see. And these four destroyers were coming there about 15 knots an hour by the looks of them and they circled around and the cruiser took off towards the Clyde and each ship got a destroyer and they all separated and put on full speed ahead on that one. That forty year old ship that I was on got up to 18 knots. It was the fastest of the four of them.

Mr. Burton describes sailing from Halifax in a convoy of troop ships. He describes the evasive tactics used to minimize U-boat attacks, and finishes by describing being met by British destroyers who escort them to Liverpool.

Robert Burton

Robert Burton was born on February 21, 1896 in Dundas, Ontario. After public school, he was accepted into university which he attended from 1914 to 1916, in the Canadian Officer Training Corps. For a time, he worked at Massey, checking shrapnel shells. Despite being shortsighted, Mr. Burton was recruited into the 13th Brigade in Mar, 1916. In England, he joined the 5th Division, a reinforcement unit, and deployed to France with the 2nd Division as a sapper. Mr. Burton became a mounted courier at Courcelette, and had several interesting experiences in that capacity. He witnessed and was attacked by Gotha bombers at Arras, and was shelled at St.Pol. Mr. Burton also served in the trenches at Amiens. During the 2nd World War, he was a very successful engineering instructor at camp Petawawa, where he attained the rank of Major.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Robert Burton
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War

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