Lieutenant Charles Kerr Bruce 24th London Regiment

Lieutenant Charles Kerr Bruce, 24th London Regiment (The Queen’s)

Lived at Galway House, St James Road, Sutton

Lieutenant C.K Bruce. Photographed 5 Jan 1917 by David Knights Whittome.

Lieutenant C.K Bruce. Photographed 5 Jan 1917 by David Knights Whittome

We know little about Charles Kerr Bruce other than that he was born in 1880 in Camberwell and by 1901 was working as a bank clerk. We know also that by 1911 his father had died and he is listed as head of the household – living at Galway House, St James Road with his widowed mother, sister and brother. He was age 31 and working for the Bank of Montreal.

Medal card for Charles K Bruce

C K Bruce’s medal card. Image Courtesy of the National Archives. Open Government Licence v2.0. Source: Ancestry

Charles Bruce’s record seems confusing at first as the medal card shows he was in the 14th then 24th London Regiments yet in the photograph he is clearly wearing the collar badge of The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. A bit of digging reveals the answer.

The medal card confirms that he initially joined the 14th London Regiment [known as 14th London (Scottish) Regiment] as a private. We don’t know when but based on his regimental number it was probably in August, no later than September 1914. One year later on the 4 August 1916 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on probation. It was at this time that he changed Battalions to the 24th London Regiment but the full name of this regiment is the 24th London (The Queen’s) Regiment. Hence the connection with the West Surrey Regiment who are officially The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment.

The medal card also shows that he first went to France on the 19 March 1915 (age 35) making him eligible for the 1915 Star. His first commission in August 1916 is not surprising allowing for the number of officer casualties from the start of the war and through 1915. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 5 February 1918. We know from regimental records that the 24th London Regiment saw action in both Messines and Cambrai in 1917 and Bapaume in 1918.

Charles Bruce survived the war and went on to marry Lily Leonard in 1928.  In around 1930 they moved to Beddington where he died in February 1955.

Additional information:
19/8/2015 – thanks to @WW1geek_andy for letting us know that the Bank of Montreal Roll of Honour indicates that Charles Kerr Bruce was wounded twice.

Lieutenant C.K Bruce. Photographed 1917 by David Knights-Whittome.

Lieutenant C.K Bruce. Photographed 1917 by David Knights-Whittome

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