Once a Cameron Highlander

ISBN 1-873203-83-7
World War I memoir
  • Description
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  • softback
  • 140 x 205 mm
  • 200 pages
  • monochrome photos

by Robert Burns


Remarkable story of a WW1 Battle of the Somme veteran, who lived to be 105 years old

This book is the autobiography of Robert Burns, who joined the Cameron Highlanders in 1914 and went off to fight in World War One, surviving the Battle of Loos in 1915 and the Battle of the Somme in 1916. He lived to be almost 105 years old and as such became the oldest surviving member of the Camerons to have fought in The Great War.

Robert never underestimated his good fortune in surviving when so many of his comrades fell and in his latter years he devoted himself to keeping their memory alive.

Robert lived to be 104 years old, the oldest surviving member of the Cameron Highlanders to have served in World War I. His longevity also made him something of a celebrity and, despite his advancing years, he was frequently to be found in attendance at a wide variety of social functions, from Buckingham Palace garden parties to memorial services at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, film premieres in London’s West End or charity concerts in his home town of Glasgow. Wherever he went, he was a popular and respected figure.

This book records his First World War experiences in detail and also sketches in some additional facts about his post-war career in the entertainment business and the many activities of his long retirement. From it, a portrait emerges of a remarkable man who – with energy and enthusiasm – packed an impressive amount of activity into a long and eventful life. He is an inspiration to us all.

Robert died in October 2000, just a few days short of his 105th birthday. He leaves behind a proud family and a great many friends, who will always remember him with the greatest of affection.