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Born 23 August 1866 in Beijing, China, he was the son of Bishop John Shaw Burdon and Phoebe Esther Alder. He was educated in England, enlisting in the British Military in 1888 and served in the Cameron Highlanders. In early 1900 he was appointed Assistant Resident in Northern Nigeria. By 1910 he was the Colonial Secretary of Barbados (Acting Governor 1910-11), and married Katherine Janet Sutherland 17 December 1910. He then served as Administrator of St. Kitts and Nevis (1916-1925) before his appointment as Governor-General of British Honduras from 1925 to 1932. He died on 9 January 1933, aged 66.
- Profile of Sir John Alder Burdon
- "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36053). London. 31 January 1900. p. 8.
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