An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

Mark Charles BURTON

No. 657042 Flight Sergeant (Pilot), Royal Air Force.

Died 13 June 1943, aged 22 years.

Buried in Redcar Cemetery, Plot F, Row 23, Grave 4.

Unlike many of his fellow Old Coathamian airmen who died in the Second World War, who were part of the Volunteer Reserve and who are described as such in War Graves records, Flight Sergeant Burton appears to have been a regular, i.e. career, airman, having the title ‘Royal Air Force’ after his name rather than ‘Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve’. The unit to which he belonged, and the circumstances of his death, are at present unknown. His will notes that he died in Errol, Perthshire.

Mark Charles Burton was the son of Mark and Louisa Burton of Redcar. He won a North Riding County Council Scholarship to attend Coatham School as a day boy in September 1932. He was then aged eleven and joined Storr’s House, in Form IIIB. He was something of a sportsman, always doing well at distance running, including cross-country, and in 1936, the year he left school, he played rugby for his house. On Sports Day July 1935 he came second and third in the under-15 half-mile and mile races respectively. At the time of his war service he was married, with an infant son. His wife Wilhelmina Smiles Burton lived in Westfield Avenue, Redcar, at the time of his death. He was first listed on the School’s Roll of Honour in December 1943.