James Burnett was born in 1888, the second son of James and Sarah Ann Burnett. James Sr was a farm labourer, and his son quickly followed his line of work.
James enlisted in the Devonshire Regiment in February 1916. He was noted as being 5ft 2ins (1.58m) tall, and weighed in at 7.5st (47.6kg).
Private Burnett’s medical record notes that his sight was such that he should wear glasses constantly, and, in fact, he was signed off medically as Category B1 (“Free from serious organic diseases, able to stand service on Lines of Communication in France, or in garrisons in the tropics. Able to march 5 miles, see to shoot with glasses, and hear well.”)
After training, Private Burnett was mobilised in September 1916, but transferred to the Agricultural Company (of the Labour Corps) in the summer of 1917.
Sadly, however, I have been unable to locate any details of James’ passing. He died on 29th February 1920 and lies at rest in the local churchyard of his home village, Lydeard St Lawrence, Somerset.