Lieutenant Edward Stevenson Bruce 1st Seaforth Highlanders.

1899 Oct 29. Born 2 Golden Crescent, Edinburgh

1901 census living at 2, Cobden Cres, Edinburgh with his mother and father

Educated Edinburgh Academy

1918 Jan 1. Nominated for a cadetship Royal Military College Sandhurst

1918 Starts at Sandhurst.

1918 Dec 20. Commissioned

1919 Feb 28. Posted to 53 Gordon Highlanders at Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire

1919 Apr 1. Posted to France

1919 Aug 15. Returned to UK, Catterick

1919 Oct 11. Posted to 1st Seaforth at Fort George

1920 Jun. Picks up Gonorrhoea in London

1920 Jul 25. Hospital with Gonorrhoea Deemed free from infection

1920 Oct 17. Moves with 1st Seaforth to Stirling

1920 Dec 20 Promoted Lt

1922 Mar 10 Lieutenant Bruce was shot dead in Alfred Street Belfast on the 10th of March 1922, he was dressed in civilian clothes and on his way to the War Hospital, Victoria Road where he was based when he was shot by number of men. Each side is keen to blame the other for his death. I am inclined to believe that he was shot by the IRA rather than the Specials, on the grounds that the Ballymacarrett report referring to his involvement in shooting Protestant rioters is demonstrably false.

1922 Apr 10 . Inquiry was held and as there were no witnesses of the actual shooting they could only state that

Lt Bruce was certainly not involved in the earlier attack on the Ballymacarrett Church 24 to 26 July 1920 - he was in hospital with Gonorrhoea at that time. It does not prove who did or did not kill him, but there was no motive for any involvement in the event

1922 Jul 6. Probate. Next of kin. Father E Bruce, 15 Mayfield Gdns, Edinburgh. His estate was £552

I find the name of Edward Stevenson Bruce on the opening page of the Baptismal Record of this Church. He was one of the first of our Prestonfield Children. His earliest remembrances of Public Worship belong to this place and these dear recollections - for which we
all thank God who have had them - of walking together hand in hand with those who loved us to the House of God. He spent the usual term in my Bible Class, and no Teacher ever had a more attentive listener, a more humble pupil. He was Class-Secretary - chosen for the post by the others -he always seemed unconsciously to invite responsibility of some kind, and anything he was asked to do he did with the grace and gentleness I shall always remember as belonging to peculiarly to him. It was in this Church that with the others who had grown up with him, he confirmed his Baptismal vows, and here he gave his first Sacramental pledge of loyalty to the Lord. He made his last Communion here only a few weeks ago when he was home on leave from his Military Duties in that unhappy city where he was to meet his death. Next to his own, surely he belongs to us, and one would so like to venture to think, that some of the things which went to form such a character to strong and gracious, came through the channels of our Christian worship and fellowship in this Church.

Teddy Bruce did not reveal hit best to everybody, nor indeed perhaps to most he met. With all hit soldierly equalities, he was shy and temperamentally self-reserved, but it was no surprise to me to learn to recently at Friday night, that he was regarded by some of his school-fellows as easily the most popular boy in Edinburgh Academy. What that means in a great public school some of us know, and we thank God that his influence so unsought, so unselfish, to unconscious, so strong, (he would have laughed had he been told it) was always on
the side of the things that are pure and lovely, and of good report. Teddy Bruce was straight in all his ways and clean through and through. At Sandhurst he earned tokens of confidence from his fellow- students which are given to few, and his fellow-officers in the Seaforths speak with one voice of the high regard in which he was held as a soldier, and their sincere affection for him at a man. Very touching have been the tributes from his men. He entered into their pleasures and sports with all hit heart and they came to him with their troubles as to an elder brother. From quite his early year there was but one profession for Teddy Bruce, that of a soldier. In a very very happy life, one thinks he could have, had but one real sorrow, that he was not old enough to serve in the Great War. He just missed it, but he did what he could. Only a Schoolboy himself, not old enough even to be a Scout Master (he and I had some secret conferences as how he might evade what he thought a stupid regulation.) He gathered together a number of boys - some of them older than himself - and gave them physical training and military drill in the Church Hall. His idea was that every boy should be prepared in case they might be wanted in the years to come. Some of them were wanted: and in the day of trial did not fail. That was the spirit of the Boy. ”Who is the happy warrior? Who is he Whom every man in arms should wish to be? It is the generous spirit, who, when brought Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought Upon the plan that pleased his childish thought: Whose high endeavour e are an inward light That make the path before him always bright”

Teddy Bruce from the beginning cherished high ideals of a soldier’s calling and a soldier’s life. It was startling to see a boy so young and healthy in mind as he was in body wrapped about sometimes with such an obvious and overwhelming sense of responsibility, and with a look in his eyes that spoke of solemn destinies yet to be fulfilled. One remembers "Maeterlinck" and the 'fixed immovable look he noticed in the man whose end was to come by accident, the man whom death would suddenly seize from without. To them life was fraught with more seriousness than to those who were to live to the full span. The same careful silent watchfulness mastered their actions. They had no time to lose; they had to be in readiness at the same hour; so completely had this event, which no prophet could have foretold, become the v e r y li fe o f t he ir l if e." They had no time to lose." It seems indeed as if our boy lived as one who had no time to lose, as one who enjoying life with thankfulness and zest as a good gift of God, yet had hidden in his Soul the Master's Word." “Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh; Blessed is that Servant whom his Lord when he cometh, shall find so doing.”
I gave you the beginning of Wordsworth’s “Happy Warrior”,

I give you now the end:- “Who, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws His breath in confidence of Heaven’s applause: This is the happy warrior; this is he Whom every man in arms should wish to be." It was so with him at the last. For one moment, brief as the twinkling of an eye, there is token, that yet unhurt, he faced his mortal danger, and ,his gallant spirit rose to meet it, for when his Comrades came there was a smile on his face left by the radiant Soul gone back to God. Truly we are persuaded that nothing is able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. You and I have received to-day a great trust from the Family of our Soldier Boy. They have charged us, as the closing act of our Worship, to sing an Easter Hymn with its resounding Alleluias - a song of Victory and a song of Life. We shall try, please God, to mate our Spirit with their Spirit, and our Faith with their Faith, and with unfaltering voice and heart to be glad together in the praise of the risen and living Christ.


British soldiers killed in Ireland