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The Pony Express

Heroes Remember

Delivering dispatches too and picked up dispatches and go about a mile to the left and get the... these are brigade headquarters, the three brigades in the division and I had to go to each one of those three brigades and we went to go to the center one which was on the main road, Courcelette, I think was the name of the place. And then you go a mile or so more over here to another brigade and then two miles back this way to another brigade and then come back and go up here. It was about a... and we did this three times a day but there was two of us. We took turns. So one day and each one of these things would be about fourteen miles so one day you did fourteen miles and the other day you did twenty-eight miles on horse back. That only lasted several weeks but that was the most enjoyable thing that I did in all the time I was in the army.

Mr. Burton describes his responsibilities as a mounted courier near Courcelette. Despite the long distances he rode in the performance of this duty, it was the most enjoyable time he spent in action.

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
2nd Division (Special Force)

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