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Colin Henry Burn

Mr Burn while he was at Maadi Base Camp, Cairo, taken in about February 1941. - This image may be subject to copyright

Mr Burn while he was at Maadi Base Camp, Cairo, taken in about February 1941. - This image may be su …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Colin Henry AWMM
  • Surname
    Burn AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    29509 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    22 November 1915 AWMM NelsonTasman AWMM
    Nelson, New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 3 October 1940 AWMM No. 11 Camp, E and B. Mill, Ongarue, Taranaki, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs O. Burn (mother), 8 Elliot Street, Nelson, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 20 December 1940 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • Greece AWMM
    • 1941 Crete AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    29509 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    3 months at Papakura AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 3 October 1940 AWMM
    Age 23 AWMM
    Tractor operator/Civilian AWMM
    TaumarunuiTaupo AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    • WW2 POW - Crete List of 2NZEF POW (MS 2009/8)
      Crete, Greece List of 2NZEF POW (MS 2009/8)
      25 May 1941 AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Stalag VIII-B (later 344), Lamsdorf, Poland AWMM
    • WW2 POW - E 537 Niklasdorf, Niklasdorf, Austria AWMM
    • WW2 POW - E172 Setzdorf, Vápenná, Czech Republic AWMM
    • WW2 POW - E725 Bismarch Hutte, Chorzów Batory, Poland AWMM
    • WW2 POW - E535 Milowitz, Milowitz, Poland AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Salonike, Greece - VIII-B Lamsdorf, Germany 2NZEF, Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. N.Z. 1945.
      Germany, Europe 2NZEF, Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. N.Z. 1945.
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
    WW2 30 April 1945 AWMM
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number
    5196 AWMM

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
    Admitted to hospital in Crete and Sosnovich (Poland) AWMM

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • After leaving Wellington on the Empress of Russia (20 Dec 1940) Private Burns arrived in Sydney on 23 December departing again on 28 December on board HT Aquitania. Colombo was reached on 12 January 1941 leaving for Egypt, via Khedive Ismail on 16 January 1941. They finally arrived in Egypt on 28 January 1941, more than a month and a half after leaving New Zealand.

    On 7 March 1941 Private Burns left Alexandra on HMS Orion and arrived in Greece the next day. He left Greece with the last nights evacuation on a destroyer which headed for Crete .

    Private Burns was taken prisoner of war on Crete where he remained until 2 January 1942 when he left for Saloncia arriving on 10 January 1942, leaving again by train (cattle trucks) for Germany on 14 January 1942. He arrived at Stalag 8B Lamsdorf on 28 January 1942 and stayed until 15 march 1942.

    He was then moved around a series of work camps. He was at E 537, Niklasdorf involved in railway repair work between 15 March and 28 August 1942 until being sacked. He then work at the stone quarry at E 172 Setzdorf from 28 August until he was again sacked on 5 January 1944. E 225 Bismarch Hutte, Poland was the next Camp he worked at. This camp was a steel works where he worked from 17 February 1944 to 17 July 1944.

    The final work camp for Private Burn was E 535 Milowitz which was a coalmining camp near Sosnoviec, South East Poland (attached to Stalag VIIIB, Teschen). He worked here between 27 August 1944 and 19 January 1945. 19 January 1945 was the start of the 1003 kilometre march which was forced on them as a result of the advancing Russian forces only being 40 km away. They were called out of bed at 2 AM, 25 degrees below zero and told to pack up. They spent the next three and a half months tramping through snow and wet conditions with very little food, often sleeping on cold, wet concrete floors in barns. Near Regensburg while they were crossing a a railway bridge USA heavy bombers arrived and destroyed the bridge, killing 30 and injurying about 20 of the marching POWs. When they were eventually released by US armoured cars (General Patton's Army) there was less than half the 500 who had started the march.

    On 11 May 1945 Private Burn flew to Reims on a US Transport plane and the next day to England on a RAF Lancaster Bomber where he went by train to Margate Reception Centre.

    Mr Burn remarks "There are only a few of us now left from the 1003 km march" Taken from the account included in a letter sent to the Armoury Manager, November 1998, by Mr Burn.

    The famous Tiki Times was published by the prisoners in Camp 535 between 1 August 1944 and January 1945. It was hand printed in pen and ink proving to be a great morale booster with its camp humour, often at the expense of the Germans. It had to be concealed from the Gestapo but otherwise was posted on the wall in the passageway outside Barrack One. The editor, Private Jack Gallichan, carried all 24 editions, and his diary, on the 1100 kilometer March away from the advancing Russians, and so to freedom. They were then made into a bound edition after the war. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • McGill, D. (1987). P.O.W. : the untold stories of New Zealanders as prisoners of war. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: Mills Publications. AWMM
    • List of 2NZEF Prisoners of War. 1941-1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2009/8. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.65 AWMM
    • Great Britain Army. (1945). Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. London, U.K.: Government Printer. AWMM
    • Dawson, W. (1961). 18 Battalion and Armoured Regiment. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM

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