Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Black Watch …Richard F D Bruce 1912,1916.1919 photos


SusanN
 Share

Recommended Posts

From my grandads album , the first photo shows a young Richard Bruce from 1912 in his Scottish uniform, I am not sure if it was ceremonial ? He is on the far right.

the second photo from 1916, shows a unit ? Richard Bruce is in the front with his arms folded. I don’t know ever this photo may have been taken ?

The third photo 1919, is taken in Bonn when he was the Deputy Assistant Provost Marshal for the Army on the Rhine.

A1A9655C-C98C-4E31-ABEE-523562D57093.png

1CA85393-1C46-4FB8-862B-0F33FAFB8095.jpeg

E3AB4793-49AA-440D-A767-0DCF7A9237DA.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oops not sure why second photo is upside down…?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Susan.  In the first photo he is wearing full dress review order for the 5th Bn Black Watch (Territorial Force), whose sporrans are different from their regular army counterparts.  It was indeed worn for ceremonial.  The fellow on the left in trews and wearing medals is I think the Quartermaster, as he wears no crimson scarlet sash.

In the second photo it shows a company of his soldiers in service dress and tam o shanter bonnets.  In the last photo he is mounted as a deputy assistant provost marshal (DAPM) and was probably out visiting his bounds in Bonn and exercising his mount.

1CA85393-1C46-4FB8-862B-0F33FAFB8095.jpeg.73a497aa79db0f75b60dbd85e1bd96d1.jpeg

Scotland-Military-BLACK-WATCH-ROYAL-HIGHLANDERS-Officer.jpg

Edited by FROGSMILE
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Frogsmile, that’s really helpful.

I have another photo from Oct 1919 which is taken at Neuenahr, it’s possibly in front of the casino , I do know the Army of Occupation where there for some reason ?

the photo has my civilian grandfather in the back, Captain Bruce looking relaxed but formal, and the dog wearing a ridiculous pair of goggles in the drivers seat…!

 

0407207C-E1C7-498E-B79A-0CFDBD326D30.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SusanN said:

Thanks Frogsmile, that’s really helpful.

I have another photo from Oct 1919 which is taken at Neuenahr, it’s possibly in front of the casino , I do know the Army of Occupation where there for some reason ?

the photo has my civilian grandfather in the back, Captain Bruce looking relaxed but formal, and the dog wearing a ridiculous pair of goggles in the drivers seat…!

 

 

I think it might have been an American sector "Leave Area" (one of a few) run by the American YMCA.  There seems to have been lots of entertainment laid on for off duty occupying troops in the theatre there.  It was a large complex, and relatively luxurious being a spa town and the first state licensed Casino in Germany, with smart hotels and a large theatre as well as the casino.  There seems to have been a connection with the German chemical warfare effort during the war.  See the photo below taken by an American officer.

Neuenahr.jpg

Kurhaus Theatre.jpg

Edited by FROGSMILE
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

The following from an American history concerning activity in their zone/sector of occupation.

In each town, in accordance with the terms of the armistice convention, the civil government was continued in charge of local authorities under the supervision of the American military. Whenever a tendency to resist the new regime manifested itself, it was the duty of the commanding officer to assert his authority, and occasionally this gave rise to unpleasant situations which necessitated stern measures. Courts were established throughout the occupied area for trying those who had broken military regulations and for adjusting differences between citizens and the military. In the case of Colonel Leach's court, this judicial duty was irksome rather than difficult. " It takes a great deal of time and patience," he wrote, " listening to the complaints of the citizens against each other and the excuses offered of those who have broken the military regulations." On one occasion the burgomaster of Neuenahr brought the complaints of several Germans against a Y.M.C.A. worker for taking seven pianos from their homes. The colonel sent for the offender. When he discovered that Miss Anita Churcher, in charge of the recreational theater, had taken the instruments to entertain the soldiers, he notified the burgomaster that he would collect as much rent as possible for them but that they would not be brought back. The area occupied by the division was in a well-populated, prosperous region, about halfway between Bonn and Coblenz. Division headquarters were established on the Ahr River at Ahrweiler, and regimental headquarters at Heppingen in the heart of the Apollinaris belt, ten kilometers from the Rhine. The batteries were quartered in Heppingen and in the neighboring town of Heimersheim. In accordance with the policy of placing ungarrisoned towns under the supervision of the commanding officer of garrisoned towns near by, the 151st was in control also of several smaller towns in the vicinity.8 Here, in one of the most beautiful valleys in all the Rhineland, in a region famous in song and story, which before the war had been the Mecca of thousands of German, English, and American summer tourists, the regiment was to remain for nearly four months.

At historic Neuenahr were a dozen or more large hotels, an immense bathhouse, capable of accommodating two thousand soldiers at one time, and the beautiful Kaiser Wilhelm Park. Not content with the luxury of a bath in Apollinaris water for themselves, the men washed their horses and equipment in it. The place had an added interest for the Americans in the fact that Theodore Roosevelt visited here upon his return from Africa in 1910. Many who appreciated the scenic wonders of the region in which the 42nd Division was stationed one of the most beautiful in all Germany-made the most of their opportunities. Almost daily trips were made by automobile or on foot to points of historic interest or to the tops of some of the vine-covered hills near by. Occasionally passes to Coblenz, thirty miles away, were issued to the men; in February excursion trips on the Rhine to the Lorelei and to Bingen were arranged, which they throughly enjoyed. The ten-day leave to which every man with a clean record was entitled enabled those who wished to visit France to do so and served also to break the monotony. With the exception of sight-seeing, however, few opportunities for variety presented themselves, especially during the first month on the Ahr. Drill and target practice, which were resumed just before Christmas, usually occupied the mornings. A few maneuvers were also held: one at Sinzig on December 24; another between Polch and Coblenz on January 3; and one at Remagen at the end of the month. Complete plans were also worked out for the defense of the sector in the event of an attack. The dull routine of this life is described in the following letter of one of the corporals: We don't do very much now; just take care of the horses. At 6: 30 in the morning every one has to be up and out for reveille. Right after reveille the drivers take their horses to water and the canoneers get fed. After this is over with, we eat breakfast and are free to clean up in our rooms until eight, when we fall in again for drill call. For drill we get some physical exercises and a little of squads right, left, and right about. After this is over we feed our horses again for dinner before dismissed. At 12 o'clock we have dinner and then are free until 2:30 when we fall in to clean up harnesses, guns, or whatever else there may be. At 3o'clock we water and feed our horses for the evening and at four we stand retreat. After retreat we have supper and then are free until next morning. Our evenings are spent for the most part in our rooms and about 8 o'clock we go to bed. We are getting a chance to catch up for the sleep we lost while at the front.

In January 1919, Neuenahr, to which regimental headquarters had been moved on the thirteenth of that month, became the leave area of the Third Army. The town had a large theater which was appropriated for the entertainment of the soldiers, where about two thousand of them found recreation daily. Every evening a good program was provided by the amusement directors. One evening late in January the film, "A Mile of Smiles," arrived and was shown in this theater. It had been filmed under the auspices of the Home Folks' Association and depicted home scenes. That the men appreciated it is revealed by Colonel Leach's note: " It was a wonderful picture, and from the comments heard of its reception by the Regiment, I could write a book. The people at home could not have done a finer thing. There were several men in the Regiment who had babies born since they left and saw them for the first time in their mothers' arms." On the evening of January 31 the regiment entertained in honor of the members of the Coblenz Opera Company, which had given a performance at the theater. On several other occasions Colonel Leach entertained for his officers. On the evening of January 12 he invited them to the Hotel Palast at Neuenahr, and three weeks later the noncommissioned officers were given a band concert and a vaudeville performance. During January the army also put into operation an athletic program which had been worked out to save the men from the restlessness and discontent which so often accompanies inactivity. A three-day tournament between the 2nd Canadian and the Rainbow divisions, including contests in baseball, soccer football, tugsof-war, indoor baseball, wrestling, and boxing, resulted in a victory of 81 to 76 for the Americans. The events of the first day were staged at Bonn, those of the second at Neuenahr. In a battle between Private Charles McCarthy of the 151st and a Canadian boxer, the former upheld the honor of his regiment by carrying off the victory. Less fortunate was the football team representing the Rainbow Division and including several men of the 151st, which was defeated 7 to 0 in a game played on February 6 with a team from the 4th Division. A ball game at Bonn closed the contest. In the basketball tournaments the Minnesota regiment's team came within one of winning a chance to compete for the A.E.F. championship.

Before his departure from Neuenahr, Colonel Leach received from the burgomaster of the town a resolution expressing the latter's appreciation of the fairness of the American police administration and a beautiful souvenir book which the colonel was happy to accept in spite of the fact that he was probably acting against the regulations. As the men marched away from the Rhineland towns, homeward bound at last, women and old men, some of them weeping, followed to bid them good-by. Children ran along the line, shaking hands with their particular friends. All of them, in the eyes of the law, were still the enemies of the American soldier; but the latter's consideration for them had won him a friendship much more real than their technical enmity. At six-thirty on the morning of April 9, the regiment was on its way to Brest in the inevitable 40 Hommes-8 Chevaux cars.

Edited by FROGSMILE
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He was in the casualty list of May 1915 as wounded....courtesy of the British Newspaper Archive.

 

Snap 2021-07-19 at 12.29.13.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Frogsmile for such fascinating finds and also to sad brewer for the newspaper cutting, I believe Captain Bruce was actually wounded twice…and one of his brothers was killed in the war.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, SusanN said:

Thank you Frogsmile for such fascinating finds and also to sad brewer for the newspaper cutting, I believe Captain Bruce was actually wounded twice…and one of his brothers was killed in the war.

Incidentally another casualty named in the same list was Lt J H Bowes-Lyon, who I believe may have been John Herbert ( Jock) ,..one of the Queen Mother's elder brothers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks sadbrewer, there was a rumour in our family that my grandad played tennis with the queen mothers brother, though I am not sure which one, as that family had connections with the Bruce family in Scotland.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, SusanN said:

Thank you Frogsmile for such fascinating finds and also to sad brewer for the newspaper cutting, I believe Captain Bruce was actually wounded twice…and one of his brothers was killed in the war.

There is an absolute mass of information on him in The British Newspaper Archive.

 

Snap 2021-07-19 at 13.06.05.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello sadbrewer, such a strange coincidence to have the same initials RFD Bruce, but this is not our man, he sadly died in an unfortunate shooting accident in Colliston Castle in Jan 1928..

here is my colourised photo of his wedding in Bonn July 1919, to Mary Elisabeth Neville-Dahm, I am not sure which church, and I have no certificates of marriage.

927293C2-9A36-4260-A36F-0CEA4947674A.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's interesting that there was fraternisation to an extraordinary degree between the German people in the Rhine area and the occupying forces of Britain and the USA (much less so in the French zone).  In part I think this was because it was an area of relative high culture (interestingly Napoleon had also occupied that area), but also perhaps because of the predominance of Catholicism (i.e. better to seek forgiveness than permission) and, most importantly of all, because unlike Northern France the area had not suffered severe physical destruction and depredation over 5-years of war.

Edited by FROGSMILE
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Susan,

Lovely photos, thanks for posting them. So was RFD Bruce your grandfathers brother?

The same large group photo is in the Black Watch museum. I think that copy came from Lt Archie Duke of Brechin, If I remember correctly,
A complete guess as to the reason for the photo is that the 5th were amalgamated with the 4th Bn in March, 1916. This may have been taken to mark those who were serving with the 5th when this happened.

It looks very much like HRC Arbuthnott standing beside RFC Bruce in the 1912 annual camp photo.

Here's RFC Bruce from the 1914 camp.
 

BruceRFD camp.jpg

 

More detail on his wounding at Aubers.from the 21st of May Arbroath Herald

1006914499_BruceR21May15AH.jpg.c1005b0b5a30ac26fce5c0a12a26c815.jpg

Edited by Derek Black
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow …..thanks Derek, that’s a fantastic photo and newspaper clip,

Dick Bruce as he was known to family , married my grandads sister Mary, so he was the brother in law, they had a very good friendship .

The Arbuthnot family were close friends of the Bruce family and often visited Colliston Castle where he lived after the war.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Susan,

I've attended a wedding held in the grounds of Colliston Castle, as the present owners run a wedding business. Seaton house and grounds are now a static caravan site.

Thanks again for sharing your photos and information.

Cheers,
Derek.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Derek, how wonderful you have been to Colliston Castle, those owners have become new owners who now rent out the castle, and I managed to celebrate a birthday night there a couple of years ago, I took my grandads albums of Colliston Castle to show them.

I have two rather faded photos which show I believe some Black Watch territorial soldiers outside Colliston Castle, probably early twenties.

6130D0C1-0776-465B-9761-F09914D00C3E.jpeg

0F7BC7ED-4CB5-4741-B3A4-BF39CBDA87BA.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The photos may be post war, as I think I can see medal ribbons on the photo of the man atop the horse.

Thanks again for sharing the images

Cheers,
Derek.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...