Lieutenant Colonel Burnett Laws
1st Canadian Mounted Rifles
During the last war I served 41 months in France as Adjutant, 2nd in Command and Officer Commanding of a fighting Battalion — so surely my experience in the handling of me could be put to some use. I have kept pretty well posed in the changes made during the time elapsed since going on the reserve of officers and with a Refresher course could take hold of a Battalion or even a Brigade and whip it into shape. As you know I qualified for the command of a fighting Battalion which at the end of the last war had a reputation second to none in the Canadian Corps.
(Col. Laws to Military District No. 12, 22 May 1940)
Burnett Laws was a former North West Mounted Police constable, Boer War veteran and member of the 22nd Saskatchewan Light Horse. Born in Northumberland, England on 3 March 1877, he immigrated to Canada in 1897. After retiring from the NWMP in 1904, he became a farmer in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan.
He enlisted with Lieutenant Colonel H. I. Stephenson’s 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles at the rank of lance corporal in September 1914. Distinguishing himself during the battle of the Somme, Laws rose through the ranks to become second-in-command. He succeeded Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Andros in command of the 1st on 24 April 1918.
After the war he became president of the Great War Veterans Association in Lloydminster. During the Second World War, after initially being passed over, he was appointed Area Commandant of the Dundurn Training Area. He served for a year until forced into retirement due to old age and ill health.
Laws died in October 1947.