Topic: The RCR
Death of Cpl. Burns
Death of Corporal James E. Burns…Biographical Sketch
The Daily Free Press, London, Ontario, Thursday, 16 January 1896
There died at Wolseley Barracks yesterday afternoon a former soldier of the Canadian militia, whose decease removes, perhaps, one of the best known, but certainly the best drill instructor, the Canadian militia could boast of. Corporal James Edward Burns was born at Niagara-on-the-Lake some forty years ago, and in his early boyhood joined the 14th Battalion, Prince of Wales Own Rifles, at Kingston, and served for a couple of years as a bugler. Later on he was found in the ranks of the Royal Canadian Rifles, which regiment was disbanded in 1870. He served in the Provisional Battalion in Red River in 1873, having been in the Red River Expedition under the present Lord Wolseley, commander-in-chief of Her Imperial Majesty's Imperial army. He next served a term in "A" Battery, Royal Canadian artillery, and from there went to "C" Company (now No. 2 Company, Royal Regiment Canadian Infantry). With this corps he took part in the North West Rebellion of 1885. He was transferred to London on the organization of the Company, and has served here ever since. His term of service expired on the 14th, inst., and not twenty-four hours later he joined the silent army of the dead. Corporal James Burns was known far and wide. He has acted as drill instructor to almost every Battalion in this district, and what he did not know regarding drill, to use a common expression, "was not worth knowing." As a soldier he served his Queen and country well and faithfully, and his decease leaves a vacancy it will be hard to fill. He was well known to the members of the 7th Battalion, having been their instructor for several months under Col. Payne and Col. Tracey, and was highly esteemed by all their non-com. officers. He took an active part in all the athletic sports, at both the Barracks and the Asylum, and was ever ready to lend a helping hand at any and every amateur performance where his services were required. He will be sadly missed at Wolseley Barracks, where he was a general favourite, and where his manly conduct, thorough soldierly bearing and genial disposition endeared him to the hearts of all. His father is Chief of Police at Niagara-on-the-Lake, and is not at all in good health at present. Corporal Burns was married and leaves a sorrowing widow to whom the heartfelt sympathy of all is extended. The funeral will be a military one to the Grand Trunk station on Friday morning. Full military honours will be paid to the deceased soldier.
Funeral of an Old Soldier
Daily Mail and Empire, 18 January 1896
The funeral of Corporal James Edward Burns took place this morning. The procession left Wolseley Barracks and marched to the Grand Trunk station, where the body was taken on the noon train for interment at Niagara-on-the-Lake. The regular and attached men made the largest showing in the history of the barracks. The coffin was carried on a London Field Battery gun carriage, and the artillery detachment was in charge of Lieut. R. Shaw-Wood. The Union Jack covered the casket, and on the flag reposed the side arms and helmet of the dead soldier.