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Menin Gate, Ypres Menin Gate, Ypres
First Name: Lionel Charles Last Name: BURNETT
Date of Death: 10/08/1917 Lived/Born In: Richmond-upon-Thames
Rank: Gunner Unit: Royal Garrison Artillery 298th Siege Battery
Memorial Site: 1. Richmond-upon-Thames Memorial 2. Menin Gate, Ypres

Current Information:

Age-31

24, Marlborough Road, Richmond Hill

 

The Royal Garrison Artillery operated larger and less mobile guns than the Field Artillery and the Siege Batteries of the RGA operated the largest guns and howitzers. These were either mounted on concrete emplacements or on railway carriages and consequently they usually remained in the same sector of the line for long periods, coming under the orders of a Heavy Artillery Group.

Lionel Burnett was killed on 10th August, 1917, while serving with the 298th Siege Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery during the Third Battle of Ypres but the exact circumstances of his death are not known. Artillery men faced many dangers and during the course of the war nearly 50,000 of them were killed. Their gun batteries were targeted by the enemy’s guns which accounted for many of their casualties. Others were sent forward to act as ‘spotters’ which meant going forward to the front line and signalling back to the guns necessary changes in target and other vital information. Keeping the batteries supplied with ammunition was a dangerous task as the enemy guns would target the known supply routes, especially at night. Battery Diaries rarely shine any light on casualties sustained, unless of course they were officers and even then information is sparse.

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