Mr. Burke joined the Cape Breton Highlanders and served overseas during the Second World War from 1942 to 1945. He grew up in Iona, Victoria Country, Nova Scotia, and went to school in Sydney where he signed up to join The Cape Breton Highlanders. Mr. Burke trained in Glace Bay, Connaught Ranges, Camp Borden and in April, 1942, landed in Scotland with the North Shore New Brunswick Regiment where he trained as an Infantry Signals Dispatch Rider. He was later posted to the Toronto Scottish Regiment as a dispatch rider and landed in France July 6, 1944.
As a member of 4th Brigade and the Toronto Scottish, Mr. Burke took part in all major battles until the liberation of Holland May 8, 1945. Mr. Burke recalled a tour of Windsor Castle in 1942 where he met the Queen Mother, the Future Queen and her sister. Their party had a very pleasant hour together and when Mr. Clarke recounted that he was from Cape Breton, they knew where it was, he recalls proudly.
Upon returning to Canada in 1945, he married and raised a large family. Mr. Burke remained a member of the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 20 years including both Regular Force and Reserve service.
Mr. Burke, now at the age of 98 years old, currently resides in Sydney and routinely attends important events held by the Cape Breton Highlanders. He is the recipient of the National Order of the Legion of Honour from France.