Personal info

  • Name: William Arthur McCrae BRUCE
  • D.O.B: 15th Jun, 1890
  • D.O.A: 19th Dec, 1914
  • D.O.D: 19th Dec, 1914
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant, 59th Scinde Rifles, Frontier Force, 8th (Jullundur) Brigade, 3rd (Lahore) Division, Indian Army
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Givenchy, France 19 December 1914

19 December 1914

More details about:
The First World War 1914 

In December 1914 troops of the Indian Corps attacked the German line near Givenchy, between Béthune and La Bassée. On 19 December the attack was renewed. Lieutenant W A McC Bruce, 59th Scinde Rifles, led a small bombing party which became separated from the main assault and captured a section of German trench. After Lieutenant Bruce was killed, Havildar (Sergeant) Dost Mahomed, with the small band of survivors, held out until nearly all had been killed or captured. Dost Mahomed alone escaped back to Allied lines and was awarded the Indian Order of Merit, 2nd Class.


 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. On the 19th December, 1914, near Givenchy, during a night attack Lieutenant Bruce was in command of a small party which captured one of the enemy’s trenches. In spite of being severely wounded in the neck, he walked up and down the trench, encouraging his men to hold on against several counter-attacks for some hours until killed. The fire from rifles and bombs was very heavy all day, and it was due to the skilful disposition made and the example and encouragement shown by Lieutenant Bruce that his men were able to hold out until dusk, when the trench was finally captured by the enemy. 

Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of 2 September 1919. 4 September 1919, Numb. 31536, p. 11206

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