Burslem, Allan Mackenzie
|Allan Mackenzie Burslem|
|1917 – 12 April 1945|
|Place of burial||Holten Canadian War Cemetery|
Lieutenant Allan Mackenzie Burslem (1917 - 12 April 1945) was a Canadian Soldier who served with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in the Second World War.
Allan Burslem's was the son of son of Allan and Ann (nee MacKenzie) Burslem of Dutton Ontario. He was married to Rita Marie Burslem and lived in London Ontario prior to enlisting.
Prior to enlisting, Allan Burslem attended Queen's University in Kingston Ontario as a Postgraduate student in Arts (Geology).
Lt Burslem enlisted in March 1941 and proceeded overseas in April 1944. He served in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals and was the Signals Officer for the Algonquin Regiment.
He was reportedly an excellent Signal Officer for the battalion. In the unit's published history, Warpath, it says about him "'Burs' [ran] his signals platoon in such a fine, cooperative manner that we all felt we had the best communications it was possible to have. His men loved him; he would often be found relieving one of his fatigued lads and laying in a line himself. He had never, to our knowledge, taken any rest himself until all communications were in and functioning."
Due to the rapid advances on wide frontages in the later stages of the war, it was not possible to clear all enemy from the areas the Canadian units operated in and 'skulkers' were everywhere. While driving in his jeep to visit "C" Coy in their new position in the region of BORGER/ESTERWEGEN GERMANY on 12 April 1945, Lt Burslem and his driver Cpl Ruddy were ambushed by the enemy. Lt Burslem was killed while Cpl Ruddy was wounded but managed to crawl away. Warpath goes on to say "The manner of his death aroused the greatest resentment in the regiment, Lt.-Col. Bradburn being particularly angry. As for the signallers, from then on it was hard to keep them at their proper work - they wanted to fire weapons, lots of them, instead of manning wireless sets."
Military Cross Citation
Lieutenant Burslem has a lake named in his honour in the Northwest Territories ().
References and Footnotes
- Queen's University Archives
- Warpath: The Story of the Algonquin Regiment 1939-1945. p.306.
- Algonquin Regiment Official War Diary, 12 April 1945.
- The London Gazette, Supplement 37138, 19 June, 1945. Page 3235.
- Abbreviations have been replaced with the full words throughout the text to increase readability