Rank or Title
Date of Birth
27 Jul 1898
Date of Death
31 May 1918
Media files and documents
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Lieut Stanley Burnet, 17th Training Squadron, Royal Air Force, died in a flying accident at Yatesbury, Wiltshire, on May 31st, 1918. He had joined the Royal Flying Corps on March 4th ahead of it becoming the RAF and earned his flying certificate in a Caudron Bi-Plane at Ruffy-Baumann school in Acton.
It was whilst Stanley was on a training flight at the aerodrome in Yatesbury Wiltshire, that he had his tragic accident. He was flying at about 9pm that evening when he collided with another aircraft being flown by 18-year-old Lieut Ernest Osborne Tracey. Lieut Tracy died instantly but Stanley's machine crashed and burst into flames, leaving him unconscious. He died from shock and burns in hospital about three hours later, at midnight. An inquest was held and a verdict of accidental death returned.
Stanley Burnet was born on July 27th, 1898, in Luton. In 1901 he is living at 84 Dunstable Road. His father Arthur Abraham is a 29-year-old manager of a ribbon warehouse and his mother Gertrude Kate, 29, is at home looking after him and his four-year-old brother Percy. Lucy Worsley, aged 21, is living with them, employed as a general domestic servant.
In 1911 Stanley is 12 years old and is living at Junior House, King William's College, a boys boarding school on the Isle of Man. He was previously educated at Dunstable Grammar School. He was also a keen cricketer and golfer.
After leaving school he went to the law firm of Hitchcock, Williams & Co, St Paul's Churchyard, London. He joined the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps on his 17th birthday in 1915 and in due course was gazetted to the Beds Regiment. His age prevented him being sent overseas, but immediately the War Office asked for volunteers for the soon-to-be-formed Royal Air Force, he was one of the first officers to offer his services.
A funeral with full military honours was held at the General Cemetery, Rothesay Road, Luton, on Tuesday, June 4th, 1918. A service was conducted at the Burnet home by the Rev E. B. Mahon, of King Street Congregational Church, before the coffin was placed on a gun carriage and covered with the Union Jack. The gun team, firing party and trumpeters all attended from Biscot, the firing party, with reversed arms, preceding the cortege to the cemetery. There, three volleys were fired at the graveside and the Last Post sounded.