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Gordon Francis James Bruce

Servicenumber : 7900461
Rank : Serjeant
Regiment : The Parachute Regiment
Unit : 156 Battalion
Date of Death : 20-09-1944
Age : 25
Grave : Plot 19. Row C. Grave 8.
Gordon Francis James Bruce was a son of Gordon and Elise M. Bruce. He was married to Margaret G. Bruce of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. 
He was a member of C-Company of 156th Battalion. He left for Arnhem from Saltby airfield. According to the book 'From Arnhem to Delhi' (page 132), about the 156th Battalion, Lieutenant Kenyon-Bell spoke to Sergeant Bruce to make sure he understood that prisoners were to be taken. Bruce's parents were Channel Islanders and had been under German occupation sinds 1940. It was well known that in Bruce's view the only good German was a dead one. 
From the same book (pages 193, 194, 195 & 196: On wednesday 20 september 156th Battalion was on the retreat from Wolfheze and was trying to reach Oosterbeek. They advanced on the Breede Laan when German machine-gun fire stopped the advance. Colonel Des Voeux ordered Major Geoffrey Powell to attack on the right flank and to try to take the Germans from the rear. Their objective was to capture the area where the Breede Laan joined the main Utrechtseweg. Powell's force numbered about 80 in total. They moved through the trees and down a steep slope towards the houses lining the east side of the Wolfhezerweg. 
At about 0800 hrs Powell and his men were halfway to their objective, when from the west two German MG42 machine-guns opened up, supported by mortars. More MG42's joined in, seven or eight in total. 
This action was taking place about 300 yards from the junction of Wolfhezerweg and Utrechtseweg, a position that had been held by C-Company 1st Border until their withdrawal to Koude Herberg crossroads during the night. Unfortunately for the 156th, it was now enemy-occupied. 
Sergeant Bruce died during this action. He died from a machine-gun burst to the stomach. 
After he died Bruce was buried beside Zonneheuvelweg in Oosterbeek. He was later reburied at the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek.  
Picture: 18-09-2011
In our hearts a memory
Of one we loved
And shall never forget
Margaret, Mother and Pop
Picture: 23-09-2012

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