Roy Burston was born in Melbourne, the son of Major-General James Burston, a maltster, who served with distinction in Gallipoli and became Lord Mayor of Melbourne. From the Melbourne Church of England Grammar School he went to the University, and in 1913 joined the staff of the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Enlisting in the 4th Australian Light Field Ambulance in 1914 he served in Gallipoli and in France and was awarded the C.B.E, and the D.S.O. Although he resumed consulting practice in 1919 he retained his interest in the Army as D.D.M.S., South Australia, so that in 1939 he became A.D.M.S. of the 6th Division, proceeding to D.D.M.S., 1st Australian Corps, D.M.S., Australian Imperial Forces, and finally to D.G.M.S., Allied Land Headquarters, South West Pacific, in the rank of major-general.
In 1948 he was placed on the retired list and retired from the staff of the Royal Adelaide Hospital where he had been full physician since 1933 He was then appointed medical adviser to the Australian Red Cross, the National Mutual Life Association of Australia and the Nuffield Advisory Committee of Australia, as well as chief commissioner of the St. John Ambulance Brigade.
Burston was a proficient administrator who knew how to select an efficient specialist staff and control them with a charm that ensured a willing loyalty. He was a good sportsman who loved racing and was chairman of the Moonee Valley Racing Club of Melbourne. In 1913 he married Helen Elizabeth, daughter of William Culross, an Adelaide solicitor. They had two sons and one daughter.
Richard R Trail
* This means that the Fellow was elected under the special bye-law which provides for the election to the Fellowship of "Persons holding a medical qualification, but not Members of the College, who have distinguished themselves in the practice of medicine, or in the pursuit of Medical or General Science or Literature..."
[Brit.med.J., 1960, 2, 870; Lancet, 1960, 2, 554-5; Med.J.Aust., 1961, 1, 184-7 (p).]