|Carte de Visite
Maull & Fox - Photographer
187A Piccadilly, London, England
7 July, 1882
With a name fit for the era in which he lived. Robert Nigel Dalrymple Bruce was born at Edinburgh, Scotland about 1862.
Seemingly named after the great Scottish king who hammed the English at Bannockburn he none the less found a part time -
although long – home in the British Army.
One of two sons born to Robert Cathcart Dalrymple Bruce and Helen Dunlop he was by 1891 employed as a Railway Civil
Engineer – a vocation that he would later combine with his military career. His father had served as an officer in the 2nd West
India Regiment, the 8th (King’s Own) Regiment of Foot and the 29th Regiment of Foot.
The younger Robert was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th West York Militia on 2 July, 1879.
Lieutenant – 19 January, 1881
Note: In 1881 the 6th West York Militia became the 3rd Battalion, The Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment.
Captain, 3rd Battalion, The Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment – 28 November, 1883
Captain (Reserve of Officers) – 28 September, 1887
Honorary Major – 1 August, 1894
Station Commandant/Railway Staff Officer (South Africa) – 28 March, 1900
Resigns his commission – 7 March, 1903
Removed from Reserve of Officers – 6 May, 1905
As stated above Bruce would serve in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War as a railway staff officer, a position which
based on his civil career he must have been eminently qualified to hold. He was invalided home on board the Dilwara on 28
November, 1901 though as the result of sickness or wounds is unclear. As a result of his service he was entitled to the
Queen's South Africa Medal with the clasps “Cape Colony”, “Orange Free State” and “South Africa – 1901”.
After returning home from South Africa Bruce worked in a management position at Vickers & Son in Sheffield.
Bruce married Miss Adelaide Frances Firth sometime around 1898 and the couple had three children: Robert Fernie Dunlop
Bruce, Eileen Adelaide Bruce and Robert Nigel Beresford Dalrymple Bruce.
Bruce returned to the colours during World War One but the extent of his service has not been easy to detail other that an
entry in the London Gazette which states that he resigned his commission of Temporary Captain with an un-named service
battalion on 18 December, 1915 due to ill-health. He died on 15 March, 1919 leaving his wife an estate worth £ 1490 17s. 10d.
More information relating to Bruce’s service in South Africa is available in the book Records of the 3rd Battalion, The Duke
of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment: Formerly 6th West York Militia - 1760-1910. Unfortunately I do not currently have
access to a copy at the present time.
|Left: The reverse side of Bruce's
photograph showing his initialed name
and date. Like so many Victorians Bruce
usually used his first three initials and
seldom his full name which made full
identification problematic at first.