Kenneth Mervyn Bruce

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Captain (retired) Kenneth Mervyn Bruce, D.S.O. (25 January, 1883 – 23 November, 1948) was an officer in the Royal Navy. He possessed a strong physique and enjoyed dance.

Life & Career

Born in London, the son of physician J. M. Bruce, Kenneth Bruce gained four months' time on passing out of Britannia.[1]

Bruce joined college on 25 November, 1902. On 25 May 1903 he was granted 61 days sick leave after an accident caused a brain injury. This leave was extended another month.

On 1 June 1904 Bruce was appointed to join Glory on the China Station. Before he got under way, on 27 June, 1904, Bruce was operated on to treat cellulitis on his leg. This resulted in a planned passage in Terrible to be cancelled, with Bruce being instructed to join Glory after regaining fitness. He was expected to be fit on 15 July 1904 but this did not happen.

Bruce was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 1 April, 1905.[2]

On 19 February 1906, Bruce was appointed to Thames for instruction in submarines. On 5 October, he was appointed to Mercury for command of submarines operating out of Portsmouth. On 29 December, 1906, Bruce married Madeline Amy Birks as he continued his general appointment in command of submarines, which extended into 1911. Bruce was allowed to proceed to London to undergo an appendectomy on 1 February, 1911. He was allowed to travel to France while recuperating, and was again fit on 1 May. His appointment in command of submarines continued until 6 June 1911 when he was appointed to the pre-dreadnought Exmouth in the Mediterranean.[3]

On 15 August 1912 Bruce was appointed from Exmouth to Bonaventure, to assume command of the submarine D 4.[4]

Bruce was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 1 April, 1913.[5]

Bruce remained in command of D 4 until he was appointed to Maidstone on 7 September, 1914 to assume command of the submarine E 12 upon her commissioning.

E 12 was sent on a dangerous patrol, to penetrate the Sea of Marmora and harass Turkish shipping. On 25 June 1915, he encountered two steamers towing five sailing vessels. As he attempted to board one of the steamers, the Turks threw a bomb which failed to explode and opened fire with rifles and a concealed gun. A firefight ensued at ten yards range, and before long the steamer exploded, seemingly as from a magazine being set off. E 12 thereby succeeded in destroying one steamer and her two towed sailing vessels. Bruce was promoted to the rank of Commander with seniority of 30 June, 1915. In September, E 12 again entered the Marmora, this time equipped with a 4-in gun. This patrol lasted forty days, and the submarine accounted for four steamers and over thirty sailing craft, as well as damaging other patrol vessels and shore objectives. Bruce made it home, despite being badly tangled in nets on his way out. His successes, and his engagements with armed vessels on 25 June, 21 September and 5 October earned him his D.S.O., as well as entitling him to prize money which took fully either years to be parcelled out to him, in October 1924.[6][7]

Bruce's relief in command of E 12 was detailed on 10 March, 1917 and he received an appointment in command of the submarine depot ship Adamant, and command of her Mediterranean Fleet Submarine Flotilla.

On 1 March, 1918, he was told to report to the Admiralty. In May, he was placed in command of the Third Group of the Fish Hydrophone Flotilla. On 9 May (or 9 August?), he was moved to command the Second Flotilla of FIsh Hydrophone Trawlers, in which appointment he finished out the war.

Post-War

Bruce retired at his own request on 1 January, 1923 and was eligible for a step in rank on reaching age 45.[8]

Bruce was promoted to the rank of Captain on 25 January, 1928.[9]

World War II

Bruce was selected to attend eleven day Sea Transport Officers Training Courses held in March 1938 and February, 1939. On 28 August, 1939 he was appointed as District Sea Transport Officer, Newcastle.[10]

On 6 January, 1942, Bruce was appointed as District Sea Transport Officer, Newport. Later that year, Bruce misused service petrol.[11]

In 1945 he was judged unfit for further naval service, having been treated for a condition that might be hypertension. His appointment was terminated on 13 June 1945 and he reverted to the Retired List the next day. In 1947, he asked for and received permission to move to South Africa.[12]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. C 15
1 Mar, 1908[13] – 22 Feb, 1911[14]
Succeeded by
Charles L. Kerr
Preceded by
Martin E. Nasmith
Captain of H.M.S. D 4
15 Aug, 1912[15] – 7 Sep, 1914[16]
Succeeded by
John R. G. Moncreiffe
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. E 12
7 Sep, 1914[17] – 10 Mar, 1917[18]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Charles G. Brodie
Captain of H.M.S. Adamant
Mar, 1917[19][20] – 1 Mar, 1918[21]
Succeeded by
Charles S. Benning
Preceded by
?
In Command, Third Group of Fish Hydrophone Flotilla
c. 1 May, 1918[22] – 9 May, 1918[23]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
?
In Command, Second Group of Fish Hydrophone Flotilla
9 May, 1918[24] – 30 Jan, 1919[25]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Frank E. Woodward
Captain of H.M.S. PC 62
30 Jan, 1919[26] – 20 Mar, 1919[27]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Frederick W. Robinson
Captain of H.M.S. PC 73
20 Mar, 1919[28] – Nov, 1919[29]
Succeeded by
Thomas C. C. Bolster
Preceded by
Desmond A. Stride
Captain of H.M.S. P50
27 Nov, 1919[30] – 14 Oct, 1920[31]
Succeeded by
?

Footnotes

  1. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  2. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 11.
  3. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  4. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  5. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  6. "Submarine Exploits Recalled." The Times (London, England), Tuesday, Jan 15, 1924; pg. 7; Issue 43549.
  7. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  8. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  9. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  10. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  11. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  12. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  13. The Monthly Navy List. (March, 1911). p. 286.
  14. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  15. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  16. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  17. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  18. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  19. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  20. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 391c.
  21. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  22. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  23. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  24. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  25. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  26. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  27. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  28. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  29. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  30. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.
  31. Bruce Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/105. f. 503.