Person NameBurnet; Sir; John James (1857-1938); architect
ForenamesJohn James
SourceThe information in the above entry has been used with permission kindly granted by Gavin Stamp, author of Silent Cities (London: Royal Institute of British Architects, 1977)
Biographical NoteSir John James Burnet FRSE FRIBA RSA RA was a Scottish architect and the Commission's Principal Architect for Palestine and Gallipoli.

John James Burnet was born on 31 March 1857. He was the youngest son of the architect, John Burnet. Burnet studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and practised in Glasgow after 1878, joining his father in partnership in 1882. He moved to London in 1905, establishing a partnership with Thomas Tait. Burnet designed the Edward VII Galleries of the British Museum (1905-14) and Kodak House, Kingsway (1911). He was knighted in 1914.

Sir John James Burnet was appointed the Commission’s Principal Architect for Palestine and Gallipoli on 13 August 1919. In this capacity, he designed cemeteries and Memorials to the Missing at Cape Helles, Lone Pine and Twelve Tree Copse, Gallipoli. In the regions where he worked, Burnet kept designs of cemeteries simple with a belt of evergreen trees and a wall high enough to conceal the Cross of Sacrifice to avoid giving offence in a non-Christian environment as well as sloping stone blocks instead of headstones. He worked on Jerusalem War Cemetery, coordinating the design of the chapel with R. Anning Bell and Gilbert Bayes. He also designed the Port Tewfik Memorial (1926) (with sculpture by Charles Sargeant Jagger) in Egypt but this was unfortunately destroyed in 1967 during the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He left the Commission on 30 September 1928. He continued working with Tait, who designed the Great Western Railway Memorial, Paddington and the Memorial in Avenue Louise, Brussels. They also worked on Adelaide House, London Bridge (1924-25).

Sir John James Burnet died on 2 July 1938, aged 81.

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