The Right Reverend Walter Burd,
1888 - 1939
Born in Cork, Ireland, on February 23rd 1888, Walter was the fifth child
of Braham Burd, an army schoolteacher who had served with the British Army
for thirty years. Braham died when Walter was only twelve and Walter moved
back to the family home area of Sheffield and finished his studies and managed
to become an accomplished industrial chemist. In 1912 he answered the call
of the Principal of Emmanuel College in Saskatoon Canada to minister to
the masses of British immigrants flooding the Prairies, in Western Canada.
He traveled to Saskatoon in 1913 and enrolled in Emmanual College to study
Walter in 1917, in Canada just before re-enlisting
At the breakout of war he immediately joined the Canadian Expeditionary
Force. According to his attestation paper signed on October 26th 1914
(here, front - back)
he signed up into the 105th Regiment, the Saskatoon Fusiliers and was
assigned to the 28th
Bn of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Serving with distinction in
the battalion and in January 1916 he participated in a trench raid that
culminated in an act of bravery that was recognised with the award of
the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)
Extract from the London Gazette March 15th 1916
"Sergeant Walter Burd, awarded the Distinguished Conduct medal
for conspicuous gallantry in the field. He led the leading bombing party
over the parapet and attacked a machine gun emplacement. He continued
bombing out a party of the enemy until he was seriously wounded, and then
insisted on coming back alone"
As a result of the severity of his wounds he was evacuated to Canada and
subsequently discharged as medically unfit and he returned to Canada to
resume theological studies at Wycliffe College, Toronto. However the war
did not let him rest. His younger brother, Frederick Braham Burd, was
a 2Lt in the 13th Bn of the London Regt. Frederick was killed on September
20th 1917 at St Julien, Passchendale: details here.
The death of Frederick upset Walter so much that he re-enlisted, in Toronto,
(attestation papers here, front
- back), in the Imperial Forces.
In London he was sent to the 28th Bn the London Regt, the Artists' Rifles,
not the 13th Bn (Frederick's) that he had requested he be allowed to join.
After his commission he was assigned to the Royal Worcestershire Regt
on the 14th of August 1918. He transferred to the Saskatchewan Regt on
17th December of 1918 (transfer papers here).
Arriving back in Saskatoon with his new bride, the former Elizabeth (Beth)
Millington he re-enrolled at Wycliffe and graduated in 1920.
Walter then pursued the works of the church, in many capacities but most
memorably as the Bishop of Saskatoon from December 1932 until he retired
due to ill health in the Spring of 1939. He retired and moved to Victoria
B.C. and died on August 2nd 1939. He and his wife, who had been killed
in a car accident in 1937, now rest in the churchyard of St Mary's in
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
The major portion of the biographical information came from a Memoir given
to me by his son, Frederick Burd. The full memoir may be read here.
Back to the main page
- Walter Burd's medal card here
- Walter Burd's Birth/marriage Certificate (pdf file) here
the image must be rotated in the reader to be viewed properly
- Walter Burd's Death Certificate here