Burnett, Ian Alistair Kendall
Regiment: 3rd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment
Biography: Son of W. Kendall Burnett, advocate ; born Aberdeen, 20 June 1885 ; educated Aberdeen Grammar School; graduated M.A., 1907 ; took First Class Honours, Modern Languages, 1908; appointed Assistant Librarian, Royal Scottish Museum, 1909 ; held a similar post in the British Museum from 1910 until the outbreak of war. Burnett was a member of the Inns of Court O.T.C. and was mobilized, August 1914. In December he was gazetted to the 3rd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, in April 1915 went to France, and saw much heavy fighting, being gassed once and wounded twice. In January 1917 he was promoted Captain, and four months later was killed while leading a night attack, 31 May 1917. To think of I. A. K. B. is to recall a hundred characteristic episodes in which the humours and contradictions of his wayward spirit are enshrined. But the central unity from which these bewildering contradictions radiated baffles the enquirer, as indeed it seemed to baffle the possessor himself, for ever in pursuit of his own reality. In that final synthesis strange and alien elements coalesced, the tender and mocking irony of the Abbe Coignard did not disdain communion with the austerity of Calvin, the freshness of the child met the experience of the sage, and the scoffer embraced the votary. And, like a radiant vestment to his inward riches, none could fail to be struck by his unique courtesy. This quality alone, were but all its implications apprehended, might be truly said to symbolize and epitomize his whole nature. ''O anima cortese!'' is epitaph enough.
Date of Death: 31 May 1917
Burial Details: Name recorded on Arras Memorial, Panel 6, Column 22.
Publication: Roll of Service, edited by Mabel Desborough Allardyce. Published 1921.
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