Burney, George Talbot


He was born on 15th September 1889, George Talbot Burney was the elder son of Brigadier General Herbert Henry Burney and Diana Geraldine, daughter of Major General John Talbot Coke.   He was a member of Commoner VI in 1907 and won Kirby Foils in 1906.

He passed through the Royal Military College into the Gordon  Highlanders in 1909 but appears to have spent long periods away from his battalion.   Between 1912 and 1918 he served with the  West African Field Force in British, German and Portuguese East Africa, in Nyasaland, Northern Rhodesia, the Cameroons and in Nigeria, as well as in France and Belgium.  He was promoted to Captain in 1915,  won the Military Cross and was Mentioned in Despatches.

After the war he again saw a good deal of service abroad, serving as Adjutant to his battalion between 1920 and 1923 (being promoted Major in 1923), and then with the West African Field Force, with which he reached the acting rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

In 1934 he got command of 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, and in 1938, on completion of his command, was appointed Brigadier of 27 Infantry Brigade. In 1940 he took over 153 Infantry Brigade in 51st (Highland Territorial) Division. Fighting under French command, the division fought a series of rearguard actions against the German advance, but was isolated and cut off at St. Valery and forced to surrender before the troops could be evacuated.  After a short illness, Burney died as a prisoner of war on November 6th 1940. He was fifty-one, and is buried in grave 3.C.25 of the Durnbach War Cemetery in Bayern, Germany.

On May 1st 1916 he married Evelyn May Gwenllian, daughter of Colonel E.T. Buttanshaw RASC.

War: World War 2

  • Surname: Burney
  • Forenames or initials: George Talbot
  • House: H
  • Years in School: 1903-1907
  • Rank: Brigadier
  • Regiment: General Staff, OC 153 Brigade
  • Date of Birth: 15th September 1889
  • Date of Death: 6th November 1940
  • How Died: Died as Prisoner of War
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner D1
  • Decoration: MC
  • Burial Site: Durnbach War Cemetery: Grave 3.C.25