Oliver Burd



Hope Bay

Lieut Oliver Burd RN and Michael Green were killed in a hut fire at Hope Bay on 9 November 1948. There were seven on the base that year, four (Elliot, Jefford, O'Hare and McNeile) were working along the Roquemaurel and Cape Kater coast. Burd, Green and Sladen remained on base. The fire seems to have started at night when Burd and Green would have been sleeping. Bill Sladen, the base doctor, was observing a penguin rookery from a tent close by. He became aware of the devastating fire and fought to get in to the hut without success. The fire burned all night totally destroying the building, food equipment and ammunition.

Sladen tried to communicate with the survey party without success and it was sixteen days before the they returned to devastated site.

You can read more about the tragedy in this extract from Sir Vivien Fuchs' book {cms_selflink page='92' text='Of ice and men' } .

Oliver Burd and Michael Green are buried near the site of the original Hope Bay hut. Their names are commemorated at Cape Burd and Cape Green on the Trinity Penisula. 

Cape Burd is a low rock cliff forming the SW extremity of the Tabarin Peninsula on the Trnity Peninsula at the NE end of the Antarctic Peninsula. Latitude 63 deg, 39 min South, Longitude 57 deg 09 min W.  It is possible to land onto the barren, rocky shore of volcanic ash  mixed with pyroclasts of many sizes. Source Oceanites website.

Oliver was the younger son of Rt Rev. Walter Burd, Sixth Bishop of Saskatchewan and Elizabeth Millington.  His elder brother Frederick Burd, died in 2008 was Professor Emeritus and Honorary Fellow, Huron University College, (University of Western Ontario) and Senior Honorary Fellow Renison College (University of Waterloo).

The Trust is in touch with Oliver's sister Helen, his nephew Geoffrey Burd and through them other members of the family.

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