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A village with a big story
Little Holland cottages at top of Green no longer there
train
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Claypits Pond with Horses 1905
Long Melford Coronation fancy dress competition at the British Legion in Cordell road1953
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Bruce

Selected Biographies

Bruce, Bertram Victor – Born: Shimpling, Suffolk on 24.5.1897.[1]  Parents: George Albert Bruce (Sub-Postmaster) and Ethel Mary [née Lorking].  Family Connections: Father to Victor John Bruce [b1921] and Roy Reginald Underwood Bruce [b1924]; also, brother of John Reginald Bruce [b1899].  Home: Post Office, Shimpling Street, Shimpling, Suffolk (1901 to 1921), The Green, Long Melford (1939), 8 Church Street, Belchamp St Pauls, Essex [1965].  Occupation: Fitter for Boby’s Ltd (1921), Maintenance Fitter at Chemical Works (1939).  Married: Elizabeth Underwood of Long Melford in 1921.  Service Record: Bertram was conscripted as Gnr.154118 with the Royal Field Artillery, seeing service during the First World War.[2]  Died: Newmarket, Suffolk on 13.6.1965.[3]

Bruce, Edward William – Born: Alpheton, Suffolk on 31.10.1894.[4]  Parents: Thomas Bruce (Farmer) and Amelia Mary [née Pleasants] of Long Melford.  Family Connections: Brother to Thomas Harold Bruce [b1892] of Long Melford, George Bruce [b1896], Leonard Bruce [b1898]; also, nephew of Ambrose Herbert Pleasants [b1864] and John Pleasants [b1866], and cousin of Horace William Pleasants [b1881], Thomas Edward Pleasants [b1884], Frederick George Pleasants [b1893], Frederick Charles Pleasants [b1893] and Alfred Raymond Pleasants [b1896].  Home: Blacksmith House, Church Road, Alpheton, Suffolk (1901 and 1911), 5 The Barracks, Gestingthorpe, Essex (1939), 169 Bures Road, Great Cornard, Suffolk [1970].  Occupation: Farmer’s Son (1911), Agricultural Labourer (1939).  Married: Lavinia Cant in 1930.  Service Record: No definitive military record has been found.  Died: Great Cornard, Suffolk on 30.12.1970.[5]

Bruce, George – Born: Alpheton, Suffolk on 13.4.1896.[6]  Parents: Thomas Bruce (Farmer) and Amelia Mary [née Pleasants] of Long Melford.  Family Connections: Brother to Thomas Harold Bruce [b1892] of Long Melford, Edward William Bruce [b1894], Leonard Bruce [b1898]; also, nephew of Ambrose Herbert Pleasants [b1864] and John Pleasants [b1866], and cousin of Horace William Pleasants [b1881], Thomas Edward Pleasants [b1884], Frederick George Pleasants [b1893], Frederick Charles Pleasants [b1893] and Alfred Raymond Pleasants [b1896].  Home: Blacksmith House, Church Road, Alpheton, Suffolk (1901 and 1911), New Barn Cottages, Lavenham Road, Cockfield, Suffolk (1939).  Occupation: Farmer’s Son (1911), Horseman on Farm (1939).  Married: Dorothy Maud Bird in 1922.  Service Record: No definitive military record has been found.  Died: Cockfield, Suffolk in 1948.

Bruce, John Reginald – Born: Shimpling, Suffolk in 1899.  Parents: George Albert Bruce (Sub-Postmaster) and Ethel Mary [née Lorking].  Family Connections: Brother to Bertram Victor Bruce [b1897].  Home: Post Office, Shimpling Street, Shimpling, Suffolk (1901 to 1911).  Service Record: John was conscripted as Pte.G/31306 with 6th (Service) Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) joining his unit on the Western Front as part of 37th Brigade, 12th (Eastern) Division.  On the afternoon of 9.8.1918 the West Kents were part of a major attack on the German lines along the Morlancourt – Ville Road, near the town of Albert in the Somme valley.   It was probably during this period of intense hand-to-hand fighting that John received his fatal wounds.  John Bruce was one of 165 men from his battalion who were killed or wounded that day.[7]  Died: John died of his wounds on 11.8.1918 and is buried in Pernois British Cemetery [grave ref: IV.E.12], Halloy-les-Pernois, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France and commemorated on the Roll of Honour in St Georges Church, Shimpling, Suffolk.[8]

Bruce, Leonard – Born: Alpheton, Suffolk on 25.9.1898.[9]  Parents: Thomas Bruce (Farmer) and Amelia Mary [née Pleasants] of Long Melford.  Family Connections: Brother to Thomas Harold Bruce of Long Melford [b1892], Edward William Bruce [b1894], George Bruce [b1896]; also, nephew of Ambrose Herbert Pleasants [b1864] and John Pleasants [b1866], and cousin of Horace William Pleasants [b1881], Thomas Edward Pleasants [b1884], Frederick George Pleasants [b1893], Frederick Charles Pleasants [b1893] and Alfred Raymond Pleasants [b1896].  Home: Blacksmith House, Church Road, Alpheton, Suffolk (1901 and 1911), 62 Leslie Road, Leytonstone, Essex (1921), 61 Wilton Avenue, Chiswick, Middlesex (1939) to [1975].  Occupation: Railway Porter for Great Eastern Railways [1916] to (1921), Railway Loader (1939).  Married: Annie Gladys Curtis in 1925.  Service Record: Leonard was conscripted on 25.9.1916 as Pte.TR/10/50050 with 101st Training Reserve Battalion, transferring as Pte.52011 to 2/5th Battalion, The Prince of Wales’s Own [West Yorkshire] Regiment and posted to France from 6.10.1917 as part of 185th Brigade, 62nd [2nd West Riding] Division, seeing action during the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917.  On 20.1.1918 Leonard transferred briefly to the Tank Corps, then to ‘D’ Company, 2nd Battalion West Yorkshires on 1.4.1918, as part of 23rd Brigade, 8th Division.[10]  Private Bruce was captured at Berry-au-Bac on 27.5.1918, the opening day of the Third Battle of the Aisne and sent to a series of Prisoner of War camps: firstly, to Hirson in France, then to Dülmen on 15.8.1918 and Münster II on 17.10.1918.  Following his repatriation at the end of November he returned to his Regiment, transferring in May 1919 as Pte.R/449849 to the Remounts Section of the Royal Army Service Corps for service with the North Russian Expeditionary Force, spending only five days in Archangel before returning to Britain and being placed on the Army Reserve in the following October.[11]  Died: Chiswick, Middlesex on 26.3.1975.[12]

Bruce, Roy Reginald Underwood – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk in 1924.  Parents: Bertram Victor Bruce (Maintenance Fitter) [see above for details] and Elizabeth [née Underwood] of Long Melford.  Family Connections: Brother to Victor John Bruce [b1921].  Home: The Green, Long Melford (1939).  Occupation: Carpenter’s Apprentice (1939).  Married: Maud Paul in 1973.  Service Record: Roy enlisted as Pte.14385984 with the Royal Army Medical Corps, posted to France and wounded on 18.2.1945.[13]  Died: on 6.5.2016.[14]

Bruce, Thomas Harold – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 24.4.1892.[15]  Parents: Thomas Bruce (Farmer) and Amelia Mary [née Pleasants] of Long Melford.  Family Connections: Brother to Leonard Bruce [b1898]; also, nephew of Ambrose Herbert Pleasants [b1864] and John Pleasants [b1866], and cousin of Horace William Pleasants [b1881], Thomas Edward Pleasants [b1884], Frederick George Pleasants [b1893], Frederick Charles Pleasants [b1893] and Alfred Raymond Pleasants [b1896].  Home: Rose and Crown Inn, Bridge Street, Long Melford [1892],[16] living with Alfred Tatum (uncle) at 37 Prentice Street, High Street, Haverhill, Suffolk (1911).  Occupation: Grocer’s Assistant (1911).  Service Record: Thomas enlisted as Tpr.4257 with 21st [Empress of India’s] Lancers, transferred as Pte.79884, later re-numbered as Pte.29886 to 14th [Service] Battalion [2nd Birmingham], Royal Warwickshire Regiment, being posted to France as part of 13th Brigade, 5th Division.[17]  Died: Thomas was listed as missing presumed killed in action on 26.10.1917 during an attack on Polderhoek Chateau.  This was one of many such incidents that took place during the Third Battles of Ypres.  He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial [panel 23 to 28 and 163a], Zonnebeke, Belgium and the memorial plaque inside St Peter and St Paul Church, Lavenham, Suffolk.[18]

Bruce, Victor John – Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 21.7.1921.[19]  Parents: Bertram Victor Bruce (Maintenance Fitter) [see above for details] and Elizabeth [née Underwood] of Long Melford.  Family Connections: Brother to Roy Reginald Underwood Bruce [b1924].  Home: The Green, Long Melford (1939).  Occupation: Carpenter’s Apprentice (1939).  Service Record: Victor enlisted in 1938 as Gnr.1539097 with the Royal Regiment of Artillery, receiving his discharge in May 1944.[20]

Notes – [1] Date of birth taken from the 1939 Register. [2] Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372]. [3] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar.  [4] Date of birth taken from the 1939 Register.  [5] Date of date and place of death from the National Probate Calendar.  [6] Date of birth taken from the 1939 Register.  [7] For more details of his unit’s movements see the battalion’s War Diary [WO 97/1861] and http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/; also see his Medal Roll [WO 329] and Medal Index Card [WO 372].  [8] British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 [ref: 765092] and Commonwealth War Grave Commission.  [9] Date of birth from his Prisoner of War Record. [10] For details of the movements on the battalions cited see War Diaries [WO 95/3081/1 for 2/5th West Yorks] and [WO 95/1717/3 for 2nd West Yorks]. [11] International Committee of the Red Cross files [ref: PA33321, PA39038 and R53130], Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329], and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372]. [12] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar.  [13] Casualty Lists (Other Ranks) [WO 417/89/1].  [14] National Probate Calendar.  [15] Date of birth from Baptism Register 3.11.1892, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  [16] Address taken from the Electoral Roll for Long Melford.  [17] For details of 14th Royal Warwick’s movements see War Diary [WO 95/1556/1].  See also his Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  [18] Commonwealth War Graves Commission file and British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 797729].  [19] Date of birth taken from the 1939 Register.  [20] Royal Artillery Attestations 1883-1942.

Genealogical Tables

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2023
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