The AIF Project

George Owen BRUCE

Regimental number602
Place of birthMelbourne, Victoria
SchoolChurch of England Grammar School, Melbourne, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationWarehouseman
Addressc/o Smith and McEacharn, Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria
Marital statusWidower
Age at embarkation39
Next of kinSon, Geoffrey Bruce, c/o Smith and McEacharn, Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed as a Lieutenant in the South African War; 2nd Battalion, Victoria Infantry (13 years); Victoria Mounted Rifles (12 months); 72nd Seaforth Highlanders (resigned commission).
Enlistment date19 October 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Light Horse Regiment, 1st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number10/13/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 25 February 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll58th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Place of death or woundingFleurbaix, France
Age at death46
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 14), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
165
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: George and Isabella BRUCE. Native of St. Kila, Victoria
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 16 May 1915.

Sent to hospital, 24 July 1915; admitted to No 2 Stationary Hospital, Mudros, 25 July 1916 (enteritis); transferred to base, 3 August 1915; disembarked Alexandria and admitted to No 21 General Hospital, 6 August 1915; transferred to British Red Cross Convalescent Camp, Montasah, 11 September 1915; discharged to Mustapha for 7 days' Light Duty, and 3 weeks' Base Duty.

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 18 October 1915; returned to duty, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Gallipoli, 25 October 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria from Mudros, 25 December 1915.

Marched out of Heliopolis to Serapeum, 26 February 1916.

To hospital, Railhead, 30 March 1916 (sick); returned to duty, 1 April 1916.

Transferred to 58th Bn, 31 May 1916; taken on strength of 58th Bn, Moascar, 9 June 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Posted missing, 19 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 1 September 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 19 July 1916'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 591002, 1723 Pte H. ROBERTS, C Company, 58th Bn (patient, No 111 Military Hospital, Exeter, England), 12 November 1916: 'Informant states that on Nov. 27th 1916 on the Somme to the left of High Wood, he and Pte. Bruce were on observation duty, they were expecting to be relieved. Pte Bruce had just said "Here they come" when a shell burst which caught his face and killed him.' Description by informant: 5'6", fair, 22 years of age. Note on file: 'Sister says not right man.'

Second statement, 3300 Pte John WRIGLEY, D Company, 58th Bn (patient, 3rd Southern General Hospital, Oxford, England), 14 December 1916: 'I believe that Sergt George Bruce (58 A. or B. Coy) was killed at Fleurbaix, three or four nights before the engagement on 19th July. The Germans were raiding us and during the bombardment beforehand Sergt. Bruce was killed instantaneously. I helped to carry him in, and saw him buried in the cemetery on the road at the back of the trenches at Fleurbaix. The Pioneers would have put up a cross later. He was killed behind the parapet. We held the ground and drove the Germans back when they raided us. I forget the exact date.'

Third statement, 3277 Pte C.V. WINDSOR, 58th Bn (patient, 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, England), 30 October 1917: 'He was killed by concussion and, & was buried in the Ruepettilion (sic) Cemetery. I helped to bury him ... I saw him lying dead. He had no wounds.'

Fourth statement, 3645 Pte C.H. SMITH, A Company, 58th Bn, 4 July 1917: 'I saw him go over at Fleurbaix about 6 p.m. on the 19th July 1917. He was in the wave in front of me. Just as I got over the top I saw him killed about 20 yards in front of me. I did not get up to him as we got the order to retire. The ground was not held where he fell. It was daylight at the time.'

Fifth statement, 3246 Pte W.H. SNOW, 58th Bn, 18 July 1917: 'On the 20th July at daybreak, I went up to Casualty to shake hands, s I obsrved him in a sitting posture near the parapet, but on going up to him I found he was dead. He was buried in Rifle Villa Cemetery. I saw the grave marked with a cross.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BRUCE George Owen
Red Cross file 591002

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