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Engineering Instructor

Heroes Remember

Engineering Instructor

I was up in Petawawa at an engineer training center as a lieutenant. I got a commission as a lieutenant. I had about a four months engineer training and then I got a platoon and a training company so I started training the troops and I don't know if it was because of my First War experience or what it was but I later got a company, a training company, No. 1 Company that they kept records, the training records of all the troops, you got a new bunch of troops coming there every month and they kept training records and for seven straight months all except one, I had the best record in training troops. Morale was excellent, you see, and the NCO's, whenever you got a good man for an NCO, you send them through the schools of instruction and everything like that and then they would come back and you'd make him a lance, well you didn't have to do that for a lance corporal, you'd make him a corporal or a sergeant or something so all the NCO's were all trained by me and I'm not bragging here, I turned out troops that had the highest morale of anybody going out of that camp.

Mr. Burton describes his role as an engineering instructor at Camp Petawawa. Having the best training record in camp, he speculates on the reasons for his success as a teacher.

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:
Second World War
2nd Division (Special Force)

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