A First & Second War Canadian Group to the Saskatchewan Regiment
A First & Second War Canadian Group to the Saskatchewan Regiment - British War Medal (1010216 PTE. G.W. BRUCE. S.R.); 1939-1945 Star; Defence Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp; and War Medal 1939-1945. Un-mounted, original ribbons, dark patinas on the silver medals, extremely fine. Accompanied by copies of his CEF Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Discharge Certificate, War Service Gratuity Form, along with his Second World War Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Discharge Certificate, Occupational History Form, Department of Veterans Affairs Service Interview Summary Form and Medal Awards Card. Footnote: Gordon Wellington Bruce was born on March 22, 1899 in Franklin, Manitoba, the son of Frank Bruce and Mary Bruce. He had four sisters and no brothers and left school at the age of 15, after completing Grade 8 and taking part in Grade 9 in a rural Manitoba School. He signed his Attestation Paper as a Private (1010216) with the 229th Infantry Battalion "South Saskatchewan Battalion", on October 16, 1916 at Camp Hughes (west of Carberry, Manitoba), at the apparent age of 17, naming his next-of-kin as his mother, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Farm Labourer. The Battalion was raised in Saskatchewan with mobilization headquarters at Moose Jaw under the authority of G.O. 69, July 15, 1916. The Battalion embarked Canada aboard the S.S. Northland on April 17, 1917, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel H.D. PIckett with a strength of 17 officers and 426 other ranks, arriving in England on the 29th and taken on strength at Bramshott the next day by the 19th Reserve Battalion. He was transferred to the 15th Reserve Battalion on October 14th and after two and a half weeks, was struck off strength to the Young Soldiers Battalion on October 31st, joining his unit on November 2nd. He was placed on command to the Canadian Ordnance Corps at Liphook from December 3, 1917 to January 6, 1918, and it was soon discovered that his actual birth day was March 22, 1900, which would have made him 15 when he enlisted. In a Medical Report, dated February 27, 1918 at Bramshott, he was declared "Underage" with "No Physical Disability" and ordered returned to Canada. He was placed on command to the Canadian Discharge Depot at Bramshott on March 5 1918 and embarked Liverpool for Canada on March 12, 1916. Bruce was discharged as "Being Medically Unfit for Further War Service (a Minor)" on April 6, 1918, at Military District No. 10 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, credited with having served in Canada and the United Kingdom, entitled to the British War Medal only and entitled to wear the War Service Badge, number C35276. After his discharge from the army, he took a three month course in Automotive Engineering, farmed with his parents from 1919 to 1923 and operated his own farm under the Soldier's Settlement Board on a one-quarter section, in a mixed (grain and stock) Manitoba farm, where he had horses and operated most types of farm machinery from 1923 to 1931. After owning his own farm, he worked for eight years as a casual labourer, in road construction and bridge building on a B. & B. gang from 1931 to 1939. He married Mrs. Mabel Bruce in 1922 and had two children, Gladys and Colin and was living in Erickson, Manitoba upon the outbreak of the Second World War. Bruce signed his Attestation Paper as a Gunner (H-24115) with the Royal Canadian (Horse) Artillery, C Battery, 1st Field Regiment, on September 5, 1939 in Winnipeg, stating his correct birth date as March 22, 1900, naming his next-of-kin as his wife, Mabel Bruce of Erickson, stating that he had previous military service with the CEF 229th Infantry Battalion from October 16, 1916 to April 6, 1918 and that his trade was that of Labourer. He embarked Halifax, Nova Scotia, on December 8, 1939 for service in Europe, disembarking at Gourock, Scotland on the 17th. He was serving in the United Kingdom and embarked Plymouth, England on June 11, 1940, arriving in Brest, France the following day. For the next five days, he was part of the Evacuation Force, evacuating Allied troops from Europe. After completing his mission, he departed Brest on June 17th, returning to Plymouth the next day. Bruce is documented as having passed the Basic Training Test at the School of Commerce (April 14 to July 5, 1941), qualified as a Driver Mechanical Group "C" Class II (March 19, 1942), qualified as a Gun Layer (July 15, 1942) and qualified as a Driver 1st Class (Wheeled) (July 20, 1942). He was transferred from the Royal Canadian Artillery, C Battery, 1st Field Regiment to No. 1 Canadian Army Reinforcement Unit (CARU) on May 20, 1943, followed by another transfer three months later to No. 5 General Pioneer Company on August 25th. Bruce was named Acting Lance Corporal on December 1, 1943 and was admitted one week later to No. 7 Canadian General Hospital on December 8th, where he spent three days before discharged on the 11th. He achieved the rank of Lance Corporal on January 15, 1944, followed three months later by a confirmation as a Bombardier on April 15, 1944. He was once again admitted to No. 7 Canadian General Hospital on April 25th, this time for a four day stay, before being discharged on the 29th. He was transferred to No. 24 Canadian Specialist Employment Company (CSEC) on November 30, 1944, then transferred again on March 2, 1945 to No. 1 Non-Effective Transit Depot (NETD) at Tweedsmuir Camp. The camp was set up as Number One Transit Depot for handling thousands of medical and psychological cases during the war and was referred to as 1 Non-Effective Transit Depot, or 1 NETD for short; an abbreviation that transient personnel soon modified to pet names such as "Not Enough To Drink, Nothing Else To Do, No Empties To-day, Non Efficient Tourist Depot and North Elstead Tourist Depot." The camp was also responsible for clearing miscellaneous troops such as those transferring to the Royal Canadian Air Force, under age personnel and those who sought transfer to the United States Army in the United Kingdom. He was struck off strength of the Canadian Army Overseas and No. 1 Non-Effective Transit Depot (NETD) to No. 10 District Depot in Winnipeg on March 13, 1945, reporting on March 22nd. Bruce was discharged "To return to civil life (his physical condition precluding his serving advantageously in the Army)" AKA "Physically Unfit", on May 18, 1945, at No. 10 District Depot in Winnipeg, at the age of 45, credited with having served in Canada, the United Kingdom and Continental Europe, which included sixty-three months overseas, entitled to the four Second World War medals, which were sent to him on February 9, 1950. He indicated that he planned to seek employment as a Mail Carrier, Prison/Penitentiary Guard, delivery truck driver or warehouse worker in his civilian life. He died in 1978.