George Burns (British Army officer)

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Sir George Burns
Born January 1911
Died 5 May 1997 (aged 86)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1932–62
Rank Major General
Commands held London District
4th Guards Brigade
3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards
Battles/wars Second World War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Military Cross
Venerable Order of Saint John

Major General Sir Walter Arthur George Burns, GCVO, CB, DSO, OBE, MC, KStJ (January 1911 – 5 May 1997) was a British Army officer and native of Hertfordshire.

Military career[edit]

Burns was born in January 1911 and educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. He obtained a commission in the Coldstream Guards in 1932, and served as aide-de-camp to the Viceroy of India, the Marquess of Linlithgow from 1938 to 1940.

He then held several staff posts during the Second World War: Adjutant of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards from 1940 to 1941 (in which service he received the Military Cross), Brigade Major of the 9th Infantry Brigade from 1941 to 1942, Support Group Guards Armoured Division in 1942 and 32nd Guards Brigade from 1942 to 1943.

Post-war, Burns commanded the 3rd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards in Palestine from 1947 until 1950. He then served as Assistant Adjutant General at the London District Headquarters 1951 to 1952, as lieutenant colonel of the Coldstream 1952 to 1955, as commander of the 4th Guards Brigade 1955 to 1959, and as Major-General commanding the Household Brigade and General Officer Commanding London District from 1959 to 1962. In 1962, he was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order and received the colonelcy of the Coldstream, which he held until 1994. The previous year, he had been appointed Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and served in that office for the next 25 years.

In 1972, he was appointed a Knight of the Venerable Order of St John[1] and was upgraded to a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order on 31 December 1990.[2]

Burns was a patron of cricket, serving as President of the North Mymms Cricket Club from 1931 until his death. He lived at North Mymms Park.


  1. ^ London Gazette, no. 45601, 17 February 1972
  2. ^ London Gazette, no. 52382, 28 December 1990.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Rodney Moore
GOC London District
Succeeded by
Sir John Nelson
Preceded by
Sir Charles Loyd
Colonel of the Coldstream Guards
Succeeded by
Sir William Rous
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir David Bowes-Lyon
Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire
Succeeded by
Sir Simon Bowes-Lyon