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An Emphasis on Intelligence

Heroes Remember

An Emphasis on Intelligence

Phone business is an alternating current affair and that alternating current can be picked up by other instruments. And the British developed a thing called the Fullerphone which converted the stuff to direct current which couldn't be picked up and the Germans didn't. Well, there was a couple of fellows from Berlin went over in the same draft that I did; went over to England and they were both fluent in German. And they were given a job of, they built somewheres, I'm not just sure where in the “no man's land” which was a fair distance apart between the German trenches and the British trenches. They had a quarter mile loop of wire in there like that and these fellows were good, they had the instruments there to listen and everything. They were listening to everything the Germans said and reporting it all the time. The Germans couldn't do that with the British.

Mr. Burton discusses Sir Arthur Currie's insistence on acquiring good, pertinent intelligence. To this end, he developed Canada's army into an elite force for conducting trench raids whose purpose was to capture prisoners for interrogation.

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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