Jean Burt

One of nine children, Miss Jean Burt dedicated her life to social and patriotic work. During the First World War Jean held the position of honorary secretary to the Otago and Southland Patriotic Society. She organised fundraising events in support of war widows, returned servicemen, and the Belgian Relief Fund throughout the course of the war. In recognition of her work, Jean was awarded an M.B.E. and the Médaille de la Reine Elisabeth (Queen Elisabeth Medal).

Family information

Parents: Alexander Burt and Janet Crawford Burt
Born: 1876
Died: 3 July 1962, aged 85
Buried: Bromley, Christchurch (ashes)

Active in: Dunedin

Obituary/death notice

With the death in Christchurch of Miss Jean Alexandra Burt, another link with Otago’s pioneering days was broken. Miss Burt was one of the third generation of a well-known Dunedin family. Her father, Mr Alexander Burt, and his brother Thomas, were founders of the concern of A. and T. Burt Ltd.

Educated at Otago Girls’ High School in the 80s, Miss Burt was one of a family of nine. Although many years of her life were devoted to the care of her father and the management of his household, Miss Burt will be well remembered for her social and patriotic work particularly during World War I.

In recognition of her untiring efforts as honorary secretary to the Otago and Southland Patriotic Society from 1914-1918, Miss Burt received the M.B.E. She was also presented with a Belgian decoration and was the first woman ever to be given honorary membership of the R.S.A.

Miss Burt worked to raise funds to assist returned servicemen and war widows at a time when so much depended on public generosity. It was for Miss Burt’s organisation of money raising schemes for the Patriotic Fund (she herself was Queen in one of the carnivals) and her capacity for work for the benefit of servicemen and their dependents that she will be remembered.

Miss Burt, who moved to Christchurch about 10 years ago, was pre-deceased by her six brothers and is survived by two sisters, Mrs Fanny Young of London, and Mrs Jessie Macdonald of Christchurch.

‘Miss Jean Burt’, Evening Star, 4 August 1962, p. 7

 

Selected sources

‘Miss Jean Burt’, Evening Star, 4 August 1962, p. 7

Otago Daily Times, 25 July 2015, p. 10

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