Burford, William Thomas

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William Thomas Burford
30 March 1892 – 4 November 1969
Sapper W.T. Burford, c1917 (2).jpg
Place of birth Manchester, England
Place of death Ottawa, Ontairo
Place of burial Pinecrest Cemetery, Ottawa
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Sapper William Thomas Burford (30 March 1892 - 4 November 1969) was a Canadian soldier who served during the First World War.

Early Life

Son of William Burford and ????, William was born on 30 March 1892 at Manchester England.

He appears to have remained in England until he was old enough to strike out on his own.[1] He proceeded to Canada in 1911 and was working as a telegraphist and electrician when he attested for the Canadian Expeditionary Force.


William Thomas Burford attested for service on 7 September, 1915, at Vancouver British Columbia as part of the 72nd Overseas Battalion and was assigned regimental number 475528. He is described as 5'8.25" tall weighing with a fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. He claimed no prior military service and listed his religion as Rationalist.

In October he was transferred to the 4th University Company before he embarked for England with the PPCLI reinforcement draft, arriving on 7 December 1915. Upon arrival, he was assigned first to 11th Reserve Battalion at Shorncliffe before being transferred to the Canadian Engineer Training Depot in January 1916.

In May 1916 he embarked for France with No. 57 Motor Airline Section which was part of the Canadian Corps Signal Company. In February 1917 he was transferred to the H.Q. Section of the Signal Company.

Suffering from Telegraphers Cramp, he reported to 53 Casualty Clearing Station on 24 March 1919 and was invalided to England on 5 April. He was admitted to No. 16 Canadian General Hospital on 6 April and discharged on the 25th. Being ineffective, he was assigned to the 3rd Canadian Engineer Replacement Battalion and then the Canadian Engineer Replacement Depot.

He embarked for Canada on RMS Scotian which departed Liverpool on 22 July 1919. He was demobilized at Quebec City on 10 August 1919 and issued with a War Services Badge Class A #329813.

Personal Life

Burford received permission to marry in July 1917 while serving in France. He married May Hewertson (1892-1958) and together they had two sons, Thomas Henry (1920-1989) and William Frederick.[2]

They settled in Canada after the war and are shown on the 1921 census as living at Victoria, BC.[3] Returning from a visit to England in 1923, their residence was listed as Digby Island, Prince Rupert, BC.[4]

He died on 4 November 1969 and is buried at Pinecrest Cemetery, Ottawa.

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  1. On his attestation papers he lists his father as his next of kin and states he's living in Buxton, England.
  2. Findagrave - William Thomas Burford
  3. Library and Archives Canada; Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 20; Census Place: 20, Victoria (City), British Columbia; Page Number: 7
  4. Library and Archives Canada; Form 30A Ocean Arrivals (Individual Manifests), 1919-1924; Rolls: T-14939 - T-15248