Lieutenant Colonel Desmond Thomas Burke ED

Dominion of Canada

Service number:

The Governor General's Foot Guards



The following is extracted his book entitled Canadian Bisley Shooting - An Art and Science.

LT. COL. DESMOND THOMAS BURKE, E.D., M.D., C.M., D.M.R. (Eng.), C.R.C.P.(C), M.O.S.R.(Hon.), (G.M), (G.C. 2.), (S.C.).

Formerly Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Roentgenology (X-ray), University of Toronto

Desmond Thomas Burke was born in 1904 in Ottawa, Canada. He received his early education at Lisgar Collegiate, and it was in his final year there that he won a place on Canada's Bisley Team. The following year he became the youngest King's Prize winner and the only one to win the first and final stages of the King's in the same year. He spent eight years at Queen's University, Kingston, in Arts, Engineering, and Medicine: won the Sir Sandford Fleming scholarship in engineering in 1926, and graduated with M.D., C.M. in 1932.

His medical practice was interrupted during the war by five years spent in England and the European and Italian Campaigns with the Canadian Army Medical Corps. On his return to Canada he was appointed Chief Radiologist to Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto, and Assistant Professor of Radiology, Toronto University. He retired recently as Chief Radiologist at Oakville Hospital.

His record includes the winning of -

Bisley, England

Won a place on the Canadian Team to Bisley - twenty-two times

Able to accept - twelve times

King's Final Gold Medal -1924

King's Runner-Up -1927,1928,1929

King's Hundred -1924, 1927,1928,1929,1930,1931,1953

King's Bronze First Stage -1924, 1928

Grand Aggregate Gold Cross -1928,1932

Grand Aggregate Silver Cross -1931

Grand Aggregate - fourth, first, eighth, fourth, second, first, in consecutive years

Allcomers Aggregate -1931, 1932

Prince of Wales -1929

Clementi Smith -1926

Alexandra -1930

Daily Mail -1953

Southern Railway -1928

Secretary of State -1932

Wantage -1929

In all, fourteen firsts and eleven seconds.

Connaught, D.C.R.A., Ottawa


Governor-General's Gold Medal 1952

Governor-General's Silver Medal 1927,1951

King's Medal 1925,1927,1929,1930,1931,1933,1947

Bisley Aggregate 1927,1952

MacDonald Brier 1951

Service Rifle Aggregate (three), Borden (twice), Sherwood (three), Helmer,

Silver Medal Revolver Championship 1927

Toronto - Ontario Rifle Association Meet


Mercer Aggregate 1927, 1929, 1930, 1948

Allcomers Aggregate, Lieutenant Governor's, Bankers (three), Our Friends, Gibson (twice), President's, Cornwall and York, and so on.

Winner of twelve tie shoots and sixteen aggregates at these meets.


On five winning Kolapore and four winning MacKinnon teams. High Canadian Palma Match, Camp Perry 1925, with 222 x 225.

Coach-First Canadian Winning Empire Team, 1953

Commandant-Bisley Team, 1962.

Selected for Greater Ottawa Hall of Fame, 1968.

Honorary Life Member and Life Governor of O.R.A. and D.C.R.A.

Awarded Bronze Medal of American College of Orthopedic Surgeons at their Annual Chicago Convention in 1948, for the best film on a Technical Subject "The Radiography of the Lumbar Spine"

Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Burke passed away in 1973.


1925 Militia Orders No. 65-74, HQ Ottawa 2nd February 1927 refers. (HQ 331-20-2, AO 434 of 1925)

Information courtesy of Mr. Desmond T. Burke, Aurora, Ontario, Canada.