Also known as
Date of birth
Place of birth
Address before enlistment
Unknown AWMM 27 Roxburgh Street, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
Mr J. Burns (father), 27A Roxburgh Street, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
Medals and Awards
- Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) AWMM
DSO: London Gazette, 30 April 1954. Citation: "In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Korea, during the period 1st to 27th July 1953. Lieutenant Colonel Burns took command of 16th New Zealand Field Regiment early in February 1953 when United States Dibision were being supported by 1st Commonwealth Divisional Artillery. His Regiment was in support of 9th United States Infantry Regiment and he consistently rendered outstanding service during a period of extreme patrol activity. On 2nd March, the enemy launched a two company attack on a forward company to the Point 355 area and achieved some penetration. Again on 17th March two Chinese companies attacked thet same position causing over 150 casualties but were themselves very severely mauled. In both these actions Lieutenant Colonel Burns by his calm and purposeful handling of his artillery was largely responsible for restoring the position and inflicting crippling casualties. Throughout the ten weeks he supported 9th Infantry Regiment he gained himself a high reputation for his courage under fire and his calm efficiency during a host of minor actions. Later, on the nights of 24th, 25th July when in support of 28th Infantry Brigade on the HOOK, the Chinese launched a Divisional scale attack on the Marines. An estimated brigade came in on Point 111 in the Marine sector and on Point 121 on the left of our sector. The supporting fire given by Lieutenant Colonel Burns was devastating and again his calm and skilful work proved decisive. Scores of Chinese bodies to be seen on the wire after the Armistice bore witness to the effect of the Artillery fire." AWMM
- Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) AWMM
- 1939-1945 Star AWMM
- Africa Star AWMM
- Italy Star AWMM
- Defence Medal AWMM
- War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
- New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
- Korea Medal (EIIR) AWMM
- Coronation Medal 1953 AWMM
- United Nations Medal for Korea AWMM
"Captured during the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942 and three times escaped from prisoner of war camps in Northern Italy, the third time successfully. On the run for nine months he was sheltered by sympathetic locals before eventually rejoining the New Zealand Division at Sora." (Weekend Herald, 25-26 January, 2003). For his escape successes, he was awarded his MBE.
Served as Commanding Officer (CO) of 16 Field Regiment in Korea, February 1953-March 1954.
Commandant of NZ Divisional Artillery, 1954-59.
Commandant of Army Schools, 1960-64.
Senior Army Liaison Officer, London, 1965-68.
Deputy Adjutant General (DAG), 1969.
Director of Cadets, 1969-70.
Commander of Home Command, 1970-72.
Commandant of Royal Regiment of NZ Artillery, 1975-81.
Trustee of QE2 Army Memorial Museum.
Civil Defense Co-ordinator.
Trustee on the Board of the National Army Museum AWMM
Roll of Honour
Remember John Burns by laying a poppy.
Leave a note
Leave a tribute or memory of
- Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 4 (Embarkations from 1st April, 1941 to 30 June, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
WW2 4: WW2 50 AWMM
- Weekend Herald AWMM
Weekend Herald, 25-26 January, 2003, A 27 AWMM
- The New Zealand Herald AWMM
Obituary: New Zealand Herald, 25-26 January 2003 AWMM
The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.