BRUCE, Hugh Smith
(Service number 8/15)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 25 November 1882 Place of Birth Oamaru, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 15 August 1914 Age 31
Address at Enlistment Humber Street, Oamaru, New Zealand
Occupation Railways engine driver
Previous Military Experience One year with Cromwell Rifles & three years with Oamaru Rifles
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs Marion Bruce (mother), Humber Street, Oamaru, New Zealand
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information 6 foot tall, weight 160 lbs, chest 36 inches, fair complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, good teeth

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Main Body
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Otago Infantry Battalion
Date 16 October 1914
Transport Ruapehu or Hawkes Bay
Embarked From Port Chalmers, New Zealand Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Otago Infantry Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian & Gallipoli
Service Medals 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 8 May 1915 Age 32
Place of Death Gallipoli, Turkey
Cause Killed in action
Memorial or Cemetery Twelve Tree Copse (New Zealand) Memorial, Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Helles, Turkey
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Roll of Honour, Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, New Zealand; Geraldine War Memorial, Name on parents grave headstone in Oamaru Cemetery

Biographical Notes

Hugh was born at Oamaru on 25 November 1882, second son of the three children of John and Marion Anderson Bruce. Educated at the Middle School, Oamaru, he later joined the New Zealand Railways as an engine driver.

At Oamaru, on 15 August 1914, Hugh enlisted for war service with the 10th Company, Otago Infantry Battalion, having had four years prior military service as a volunteer, one year with the Cromwell Rifles and three with the Oamaru Rifles. He left as part the 10th (North Otago) Regiment contingent soon after. His enlistment papers described him as being single, Presbyterian, 6 foot tall, weighing 160 lbs, chest measuring 36 inches, of fair complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, and having good teeth. He listed his mother, Mrs Marion Bruce of Humber Street Oamaru, as his next of kin. Hugh served in New Zealand until he embarked from Port Chalmers with the Main Body on 16 October, aboard the Ruapehu or Hawkes Bay, bound for Suez, Egypt, and arrived in Alexandria on 3 December 1914. After serving in Egypt, he embarked from Alexandria for the Dardanelles on 12 April 1915. A court of enquiry held on 22 March 1916, at Moascar Camp, Ismailia, Egypt, by the Officer Commanding the 1st Battalion Otago Infantry Regiment, found that they had reason to suppose that Private Bruce had been killed in action on 8 May 1915. There being no body ever found to bury, he is commemorated on the Twelve Tree Copse (NZ) Memorial at Twelve Tree Cemetery, Helles, Turkey. After war’s end, Hugh’s medals, the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal plus a scroll and plaque, were forwarded to his mother at Oamaru.

Hugh’s elder brother, Corporal Thomas Andrew Bruce (no.39157), Otago Infantry Regiment, also served overseas in England at Sling Camp as a cook and in his trade as bootmaker.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph database (July 2015); Archives NZ (Personnel File); "Dunedin railway station war memorial" on NZ History at; The Oamaru Mail, 10 April 1916 via; The Oamaru Mail, 15 August 1914 via; North Otago Timaes, 11 July 1916 via; NZSG Index v5; NZBDM Historical Records;

External Links

Related Documents

Researched and Written by

Tony Rippin (South Canterbury Museum); Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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