(3 April 1882–9 April 1945). Born in the United States of Scottish parents, Burnett joined the Imperial Yeomanry under age in 1899 in order to serve in the Boer War. Commissioned in October 1901 in the Highland Light Infantry, he fought in Nigeria in 1904–06 before leaving the Army to pursue business interests. He rejoined the Army at the outbreak of war in 1914, and quickly transferred to the RFC as a pilot. He served with No. 17 Squadron in the Middle East, and commanded in turn No. 12 Squadron in France and No. 5 Wing in Palestine. In 1919 he accepted a permanent commission as a wing commander in the RAF. Between the wars he commanded operations in Iraq and held a succession of staff and command positions in Britain, culminating in his appointment as C-in-C of Training Command in 1936, a job he held for three critical years during which time the RAF expanded to meet the needs of the coming war. In 1939 he was made Inspector-General.
From The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Military History.