Private Bruce Campbell


Bruce Campbell was born on 1 March 1888 at Crossgar, Dromara, County Down, the last of fourteen children of farmer John Campbell and his wife Margaret Anne (née Reid). His father died when he was just six years old. At the time of the 1901 Census he was living in the Middle Division, rural Carrickfergus, County Antrim, with his brother Leonard at the home of one of his sisters and her husband.

Campbell enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 18 November 1915 (No.1914). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in 1916 or the first half of 1917, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments.

In August-September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Campbell, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Campbell was issued regimental number 41395 and posted to A Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Campbell was one of the many initially posted as missing following the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. It was later learned that he had been wounded, in the left thigh. Evacuated to the UK for treatment, on 29 January 1919 he was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations). He was awarded a pension due to his wound, his level of disability assessed at 40 per cent in May 1920.

After the war Campbell moved from Carrickfergus to Belfast. On 6 September 1922 he married Mamie Long in the Belmont Presbyterian Church. By 1945 he was living at 'Kamlon', Church Road, Newtownbreda, and working as a clerk. He died on 4 October that year in the Royal Victoria Hospital.