Edward Francis Bruen

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Admiral Edward F. Bruen as a Rear-Admiral, 1920.
© National Portrait Gallery, London.

Admiral Edward Francis Bruen, C.B., R.N., Retired (7 November, 1866 – 22 November, 1952) was an officer of the Royal Navy during the First World War.

Early Life & Career

Bruen was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 June, 1889.[1]

Bruen was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1901.[2]

Bruen was appointed in command of third class protected cruiser Pandora on 10 June, 1904, but then whisked away to command the despatch vessel Surprise on 6 February, 1905, to remain in her until superseded on 1 August, 1906. He may have had a second short stint in Pandora, as well.[3]

Captain

Bruen was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1906.[4]

On 20 August 1907, he was appointed in command of the first class protected cruiser Amphitrite, remaining in her until September 1908.[5]

He was appointed as captain of the second class protected cruiser Highflyer on 19 September, 1908.[6]

He was appointed command of the first class protected cruiser Powerful on 31 December, 1910.[5]

Bruen was appointed in command of the armoured cruiser Drake in January, 1912,[7] leaving her in March, 1913.[5]

He was appointed in command of the battleship Bellerophon on 18 August, 1913.[8]

Great War

Bruen commanded Bellerophon at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May, 1916 as part of the Fourth Battle Squadron. His report on the proceedings details the battle from her perspective. He was appointed to Victory on 31 August for command of the new battleship Resolution, which commissioned in September. On 16 September he was commended for his service at Jutland.[5]

Bruen was referred to as "Tiny" by some sailors due to his small stature. As to temperament, he was judged "completely unemotional"; a placidity perhaps best exemplified by an incident on 6 March, 1917,[9] as the Bellerophon prepared to leave on a sweep:[10]

We were waiting to weigh anchor when a commander came up to Captain Bruen, I could see that he was rattled. The captain was watching the flagship through his glasses, waiting for the signal to come down. The commander said, "Captain, I beg your pardon, sir, I'm sorry to report that the Captain of Marines has just shot himself," and then he said, "No, he's not shot himself, sir, he's cut his throat." Captain Bruen just lowered his glasses, slowly looked at the commander and said, "Oh, cut his throat has he, cut it badly?" The commander said, "I'm sorry, sir, I'm afraid he's dead." "Oh, he's dead is he? Well, see to it, Commander, will you." And then he returned his gaze to the flagship and in the same voice said, "Signal, weigh anchor."

Bruen was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 28 September, 1917, vice Thorp.[11] He was superseded in command of Resolution on 1 November, and was was appointed to H.M.S. President, additional, on the ninth for Special Service with the Director of Plans.[5]

On 21 February, 1918, he was appointed in command of the Second Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet. For his services in command of the Second Cruiser Squadron,[5] on the occasion of the King's birthday he was appointed an Additional Member of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.) on 3 June.[12] He struck his flag at 2CS on 1 February, 1919.[5]

Post-War

Bruen became Rear-Admiral Commanding Portsmouth Reserve on 1 February, 1919, flying his flag in Achilles. On 10 February he transferred his flag to St. Vincent, and struck his flag on 23 April.[13]

After taking the Senior Officers' Course from 1 March to 1 May, 1920,[14] on 1 May Bruen was appointed Director of Naval Equipment in succession to Rear-Admiral Edward M. Phillpotts.[15] He was superseded in the position on 16 May, 1922,[16] and was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 16 November, 1922, vice Bernard.[17]

He was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 1 October, 1924.[18] He was advanced to the rank of Admiral on the Retired List on 1 August, 1927.[19]

Bibliography

  • "Admiral E. F. Bruen" (Obituaries). The Times. Tuesday, 25 November, 1952. Issue 52478, col E, p. 10.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
William L. Grant
Captain of H.M.S. Doris
17 Aug, 1901[20]
Succeeded by
Frederick R. W. Morgan
Preceded by
The Hon. Charles J. T. Dormer
Captain of H.M.S. Pandora
10 Jun, 1904[21] – Dec, 1904[22]
Succeeded by
Adolphus H. Williamson
Preceded by
Edwyn S. Alexander-Sinclair
Captain of H.M.S. Surprise
6 Feb, 1905[23] – 1 Aug, 1906[24]
Succeeded by
Philip Francklin
Preceded by
Francis W. Kennedy
Captain of H.M.S. Amphitrite
20 Aug, 1907[25] – 27 Sep, 1908[26]
Succeeded by
Arthur Halsey
Preceded by
Charles T. Borrett
Captain of H.M.S. St. George
25 Jun, 1908[27] – 19 Sep, 1908[28]
Succeeded by
Guy L. Sclater
Preceded by
Cecil S. Hickley
Captain of H.M.S. Highflyer
19 Sep, 1908[29] – 11 Jan, 1910[30]
Succeeded by
Arthur R. Hulbert
Preceded by
Marcus R. Hill
Captain of H.M.S. Hawke
24 Jun, 1910[31]
Succeeded by
Ralph P. Clutton
Preceded by
Cecil I. Prowse
Captain of H.M.S. Powerful
31 Dec, 1910[32][33] – 1912[34]
Succeeded by
Charles D. Johnson
Preceded by
Charles D. Johnson
Captain of H.M.S. Drake
Jan, 1912[35][36] – 12 Mar, 1913[37]
Succeeded by
Henry C. R. Brocklebank
Preceded by
Charles L. Vaughan-Lee
Captain of H.M.S. Bellerophon
18 Aug, 1913[38] – 31 Aug, 1916[39]
Succeeded by
Hugh D. R. Watson
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Resolution
31 Aug, 1916[40] – 1 Nov, 1917[41]
Succeeded by
Brian H. F. Barttelot
Preceded by
Sir Reginald G. O. Tupper
as Vice-Admiral Commanding, Second Cruiser Squadron
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Second Cruiser Squadron
21 Feb, 1918[42] – 1 Feb, 1919[43]
Succeeded by
Command Abolished
Preceded by
New Command
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Portsmouth Reserve
1 Feb, 1919[44] – 23 Apr, 1919[45]
Succeeded by
Cole C. Fowler
Preceded by
Edward M. Phillpotts
Director of Naval Equipment
1 May, 1920[46] – 16 May, 1922[47]
Succeeded by
Douglas L. Dent

Footnotes

  1. The London Gazette: no. 25969. p. 4738. 30 August, 1889.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 27335. p. 4780. 19 July, 1901.
  3. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 27927. p. 4466. 29 June, 1906.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  6. The Navy List. (October, 1908). p. 327.
  7. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  8. The Navy List. (December, 1914). p. 280.
  9. Kindell. Royal Navy Roll of Honour Part 2. p. 330 records the death, from "illness" of R.M.A. Captain Seymour Cruddas on that date.
  10. Arthur. The True Glory. Midshipman Brian de Courcy-Ireland, quoted on pp. 63-4..
  11. The London Gazette: no. 30332. p. 10505. 12 October, 1917.
  12. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30723. p. 6527. 3 June, 1918.
  13. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  14. ADM 196/42. f. 203.
  15. "Naval Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 16 April, 1920. Issue 42386, col D, p. 19.
  16. ADM 196/42. f. 203.
  17. The London Gazette: no. 32769. p. 8213. 21 November, 1922.
  18. The London Gazette: no. 32981. p. 7327. 10 October, 1924.
  19. The London Gazette: no. 33300. p. 5105. 5 August, 1927.
  20. The Navy List. (May, 1902). p. 247.
  21. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  22. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88. f. 123.
  23. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  24. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  25. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 210/418.
  26. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 210/418.
  27. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 210/418.
  28. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 210/418.
  29. The Navy List. (July, 1909). p. 327.
  30. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 210/418.
  31. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 210/418.
  32. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  33. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 357.
  34. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  35. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  36. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 303.
  37. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  38. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  39. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  40. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 397i.
  41. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 210/418.
  42. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. f. 21.
  43. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  44. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 418.
  45. Bruen Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 210/418.
  46. "Naval Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 16 April, 1920. Issue 42386, col D, p. 19.
  47. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 203.